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mountable difficulties, however, present perature of course corresponds with the themselves to this view.

amount of carbon consumed. Morelli Fanzago, and, of late, Maraschin, It will be seen, that if the respiratory writers who suppose that the human frame movements be unduly excited, such an takes fire from some internal action, inde- elevated temperature would arise as would pendent of all outward agencies, such as the be productive of injury to the animal ecoelectric fluid or the application of an ignited nomy. To obviate this, a remarkable evisubstance, argue that the presence of phos-dence of divine wisdom is furnished in the phuretted hydrogen gas, which inflames provision made for equalizing the animal upon contact with the atmosphere, presents temperature. This is mainly effected through à satisfactory explanation of spontaneous the medium of perspiration, by which act combustion. Phosphoric acid, united to the superfluous heat is dissipated in the some base, is found in considerable quantity, form of aqueous vapour: A common illusas a constituent of the bones. “ It is also," tration is witnessed in the case of persons as Dr. Apjohn remarks, “ found in a pe- who, when undergoing active exercise, are culiar state of combination in the cerebral relieved by copious perspiration, which mass, and in the fat which is deposited carries off that undue heat which arises throughout the cellular tissue. Phosphorus form accelerated breathing, is evolved among the gaseous products in Respiration tends to consume the body union with hydrogen, when putrefaction by burning its carbon. The daily amount takes place after death;" and the same of carbon thus burnt in an adult is comwriter seems to think that there is little puted to be 131 ounces. Despretz has reason to doubt that this is one of the gases shown that one ounce of carbon evolves which are occasionally generated through- as much heat during its combustion as out the different textures of the living would elevate the temperature of 105 ounces system.*

of water, 32° F. to 167°, that is, by 135 “ If this be admitted,” adds this physi- degrees; in all, therefore, 105 times 135o, cian, “as phosphuretted hydrogen inflames equal to 14,207 degrees of heat. Now, 13 upon contact with the atmosphere, we shall ounces of carbon are converted daily by have a perfect and simple solution of the an adult into carbonic acid, în respiration, difficulty of spontaneous combustion.”+ and this carbon will liberate, by union with

Several serious, if not fatal, objections, oxygen, 19,477 degrees of heat. This vohowever, present themselves to the reception lume of heat daily liberated is sufficient to of this theory. In the first place, there is cause 136 lbs. of water at 32° to boil, or to not a sufficient portion of free oxygen within heat 370 lbs. of water to the temperature of the system; in other words, among its the blood. The amount of heat liberated in tissues, to carry on combustion. Combus- the system varies with the quantity of oxytion, moreover, may take place exteriorly, gen received by respiration in equal times. and decarbonize or char the superficial Thus, man takes 18 respirations per minute, membrane from the copious liberation of and the temperature of his blood is 97.7° F. phosphuretted hydrogen; but this result A lark breathes 22 times per minute, and must necessarily be partial in its extent. has its blood of a temperature of 117.2° F. Physical obstacles interpose, and prevent What would be the effects of this volume the requisite supply from without of atmo- of heat on the organism but for the admispheric air.

mirable provision alluded to above? and may It may, however, be urged, that oxygen we not look for some of the causes of sponmay be disengaged from the living structure taneous combustion in the serious organic in sufficient quantity to support the com- derangements of the tissues which would bustion of the phosphuretted hydrogen arise in the suspension or modification of primarily liberated. But where is the che- this provision, in addition to the increased mical evidence to show how this decompo- volume of oxygen introduced into the syssition of organic structure can be effected? tem, and the consequent excess of heat In reviewing the interchanges of the con- arising from accelerated respiration?* The stituent elements of organized matter, we use of alcohol powerfully quickens respiramust not forget their natural chemical tion; and Liebig and other recent writers affinities.

contend that it is also an element of respiMay not the causes of spontaneous com- ration, furnishing for combustion an inbustion be intimately associated with the creased quantity of carbon and hydrogen. evolution of animal heat? Animal heat is Here, then, we have a source of undue produced by the slow combustion of the heat, which, in its influence on a frame carbon of the body. This combustion is debilitated by intemperance, ultimately may effected by the carbon uniting with the oxygen separated from the air in the act of respiration. The resulting degree of tem

* The views of Liebig, as expressed in his recent : work, respecting the decomposition of alcohol in. the system, differ materialiy from those advocated

in various sections of this volume. The peculiar * Cyclopæd. of Pract. Med., vol. i., p. 454. nature of these views will be given in some notes in + Ibid., p. 454

the Appendix.




destroy the living fibre, by suspending a law that "he who committed a crime some and quickening others of the vital when intoxicated should receive a double actions of the human economy. Future punishment;" that is, punishment not only investigations, doubtless, will tend more for the crime itself, but also for the crime clearly to elucidate this interesting subject. of drunkenness, which had occasioned it.

The experience of Mr. Spalding, recorded The Athenian laws against intemperance, in p. 215, col. 1, confirms this view. were very severe, and in particular those

which had reference to magistrates and other public officers. The ancient Welch

law denied redress to any member, either SECTION IX.

of the clerical, legal, or medical profession, who had received an injury whilst in a state

of intoxication. . VIEW, AND IN THE RELATION IT BEARS TO THE The Salic law among the Franks made

an excellent provision to suppress the evil consequences of drunkenness. If a man

were killed at a convivial meeting in com“A drunkard who is voluntarius demon,' hath pany with five or seven, the survivors no privilege thereby; but what hurt or ill soever he should convict one as the offender, or jointly doth, his drunkenness doth aggravate it.”—SIR ED- pay composition for his death. *

The English legal code does not admit of the plea of intoxication as a palliation of

any crime committed in that state. “Those INTEMPERANCE has, in various ages, been who presume to commit crimes when drunk, differently estimated in a legal point of view; must submit to punishment when sober.”with one exception, however, it has ever been Sir Edward Coke, the highest legal authoconsidered as operating injuriously to a rity of his day, informs us, that a drunk greater or less extent upon the interests of ard who is voluntarius demon, hath no prisociety. This exception occurred among vilege thereby; but what hurt or ill soever the Romans, at a period subsequent to their be doth, his drunkenness doth aggravate primitive temperance; and when luxurious it.” Nor has the state of intoxication ever practices had, in a considerable degree, al- been admitted in British courts of judicature tered their notions and feelings on a subject as a sufficient reason for mitigation of punwhich had previously induced the most ishment. The plea of drunkenness, in the rigorous penal exactions. According to case of King v. Maclauchlin, March, 1737, Menochius, the latter practice among the advanced in mitigation of punishment, was Romans was not to punish a man who com- not allowed by the court. Sir G. Mackenzie mits a crime, when drunk, with such great states, that he never found this plea susseverity, as if he had done the same while tained; and that it was repelled in a case of in a sober state, pænâ arbitrariâ non ordi- murder, Spott v. Douglas, 1667. The validity nariâ : unless it appear in evidence that he of this defence is also denied by Sir Matthew made himselfdrunk on purpose for the crime, Hale, (cap. iv.). All agree that “ levis et or boasted of it afterwards.* But although modica ebrietas non excusat nec minuit dethe Roman law did exonerate a man from lictum.”+ Drunkenness otherwise might the responsibility of a crime committed frequently be urged as an excuse for the under the influence of intoxication, yet, as commission of every kind of crime. it also regarded drunkenness as both a Individuals, in the perfect

possession of their crime in itself

, and as productive of injury faculties, indulge in a practice which they to society, it visited with punishment any are conscious will make them drunk, and attempt to incite any dependent person, as which, also, they are aware may lead to sefor example, a son or servant, to the prac. The plea of drunkenness has been repelled

rious and unpremeditated acts of violence. tice of intemperance.f

The laws of Ancient Greece, as decreed as insufficient in extenuation of blasphemy. by Pittacus of Mitylene, regarded drunk- An individual was brought to trial for enness in a more severe light than that of blasphemy, Nov. 22nd, 1697, “He pleaded the Romans. In order to mark his disap- chiefly that he was drunk or mad when he probation of the vice, and to deter his sub- uttered the expressions, (named in the rejects from its commission, Pittacus enacted port of the trial,) if he did utter them. The

court found the libel relevant to infer the

pains libelled, i. e. death; and found the de* Menoch. de Arb. Judicum Quæst. 1. ii., cas. 326. fence, that the pannel was furious or dis

+ Si quis servum meum, vel filium ludibrio ha- tracted in his wits, relevant; but repelled beat, licet consentientem, ego injurium videor accipere ; veluti si in Popinam duxerit illum, si Aleam the alledgeance of fury or distraction arising

Sed hoc utcunque tunc locum habere po- from drunkenness.”I test, quotiens ille qui suadet animum injuriæ faciendæ habet. At quin potest malum consilium dare et qui dominum ignoret : et ideo incipit servi cor- * Tit. de Homocidiis in conviviis factio. rupti actio necessaria esse. -PAULUS DE INJURIIS, + Macnish's Anatomy of Drunkenness, p. 119.

Maclaurin's Arguments and Decisions, p.731.


L. xxvi.

and not,



The Scotch law is decisive on the point to shelter himself from the legal conseunder consideration, and is thus explained quences of such crime. But (for the conby Mr. Alison. “ Drunkenness is no excuse viction of the culprit) the crime must take for crimes; but, on the other hand, if place, and be the immediate result of the fit either the insanity has supervened from of intoxication, and while it lasts ; drinking, without the pannel's having been as in this case, a remote consequence, suaware that such indulgence in his case leads perinduced by the antecedent exhaustion to such a consequence; or if it has arisen of the party, arising from gross and habitual from the combination of drinking with a drunkenness. However criminal, in a moral half crazy or infirm state of mind, or a pre- point of view, such an indulgence is, and vious wound, or illness, which rendered however justly a party may be responsible spirits fatal to his intellect, to a degree un- for his acts arising from it to Almighty God, usual in other men, or which could not have human tribunals are generally restricted been anticipated; it seems inhuman to visit from punishing them, since they are not the him with the extreme punishment, which acts of a reasonable being."* was suitable in the other case. In such a A case of still greater importance is recase, the proper course is to convict; but in lated by Professor Beck, as having occurred consideration of the degree of infirmity in a high court of legislature in America.proved, recommend to the royal mercy.' “ William M'Donough, was indicted and

The distinction or line of partition be- tried for the murder of his wife, before the tween drunkenness and insanity has fre- Supreme Court of the state of Massachusetts, quently been the subject of forensic inves- in November, 1817. It appeared in testitigation. An important penal distinction mony, that for several years previous he also exists between crimes committed in a had received a severe injury of the head, state of actual intoxication and under the and that, although, relieved of this, yet its consequent state of excitement, and such as effects were such as occasionally to render are perpetrated while labouring under mania him insane. At these periods, he complained a potu, or delirium tremens, at an indefinite greatly of his head. The use of spirituous period subsequent to the alleged intemper- liquors immediately induced a return of the

paroxysm; and in one of them, thus induA case in point is related by Professor ced, he murdered his wife. He was, with Beck, in his Medical Jurisprudence. A great propriety, found guilty. The voluntary commander of a vessel, of a fair character, use of a stimulus, which he was well aware respected in the place where he resided, and would disorder his mind, fully placed him a man of a humane and benevolent dispo- under the purview of the law.” Professor sition, for a length of time, during a voyage Beck, in subsequent editions of his work, he made, drank to excess of ardent spirits. admits that he is aware that he has probably In August, 1827, he obtained a keg, or expressed himself too strongly in this case, fresh supply, from a vessel which he spoke, in a medical point of view. Dr. Drake asks, and drank until he became stupified; but whether, if AI'Donough had killed his wife when he recovered, he ordered the keg and in one of his ordinary paroxysms, he would its contents to be thrown overboard. There have been condemned? “The case, howwas then no more intoxicating liquor on ever,” remarks Dr. Beck, “is not one of board the ship.

delirium tremens, as the murder was comIn two or three days from that period, mitted during the fit of intoxication; and it symptoms of derangemen twere discovered thus rendered him obnoxious to the usual in the commander, which finally ended in legal enactments.” confirmed delirium tremens ; and in that The difficulty, however, of arriving at a condition he murdered one of the men be-correct conclusion in these cases, arises from longing to the vessel. The culprit was another circumstance. In M‘Donough's placed at the bar of his country on the case, the court was of opinion, that the pricharge of murder. The case was arrested, soner was aware that mania a potu usually however, by Judge Story, on the facts of followed intoxication, and, therefore, he his insanity being proved, such a state being could not be exonerated from the guilt of in the eye of the law a sufficient reason his crime by his voluntary state of insanity. why he should not be held responsible for Dr. Drake, in reply, states very correctly, the deed. “In general,” remarks Judge that the disease equally arises, sometimes Story, “insanity is an excuse for the com- from opium, and even from liquors not taken mission of every crime, because the party to intoxication. The law does not look upon has not the possession of that reason which drinking to excess as criminal; and the priincludes responsibility. An exception is, soner did not take the liquor with malice when the crime is committed by a party prepense. while in a state of intoxication, the law not In a civil point of view, intemperance, in permitting a man to avail himself of the some places, in particular, deprives a man excuse of his own gross vice and misconduct of some important privileges. In the State

of New York, in the eye of the law, an ha-' * Principles of the Criminal Law of Scotland,

* Beck's Medical Jurisprudence,p.457-8. ed. 1836.

P. 654.

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bitual drunkard is not considered capable of man, as depriving him of the control of his managing his own affairs. “ In the State own family, and instanced his being able of New York, we have a statute which to conduct

the affairs of his office as a reason places the property of habitual drunkards against granting the prayer of. the citation. under the care of the Chancellor, in the The Attorney-General replied again, urgsame manner as that of lunatics. The ing the prayer of the memorial. The overseers of the poor in each town may, chief and other judges confirmed the Atwhen they discover any person to be an torney-General's demand, and ordered habitual drunkard, apply to the Chancellor, that the defendant's family be given into for the exercise of his power and juris- the guardianship of a proper person, diction. And in certain cases, when the chosen by their nearest relations with the person considers himself aggrieved, it may approbation of the court.' be investigated by six freeholders, whether The laws of the same island deprive inhe is actually what he is described to be; corrigible drunkards of their right to vote and their declaration is primâ facie evi- in affairs of the state, or to receive any apdence of this fact."* This Act was passed pointment, whether parochialor legislatorial. March 16, 1821.”

Drunkenness may correctly be considered In a case cited by Lord Eldon, Ridgway as a species of voluntary insanity. A v. Darwin, it appears that a commission of question therefore arises whether, under lunacy was supported against a person who such circumstances, it would not be justiwhen sober, was a very sensible man, but fiable and humane on the part of the legisbeing in a constant state of intoxication, he lature to enact such a measure as would was considered incapable of managing his place persons subject to fits of intemperance property.t

under temporary confinement or control? Dr. Drake, remarks Professor Beck, The question is one of great importance. some time since, made a suggestion which, A law, indeed, to this effect would not only if acted upon, would doubtless subserve the be an act of mercy to the drunkard himends of justice and morality. “ An habi-self, but, in its operation, it might be protually intemperate man is enfeebled in his ductive of a salutary influence in restrainmental powers:

When summoned as a ing the prevalence of intemperance. It is witness, should his testimony have full a common practice, states Dr. Macnish, in weight? Without questioning his [legal] the West of Scotland, to send persons who competency, should not his capability be are excessively addicted to drunkenness to called in question.”I.

rusticate, and learn sobriety, on the islands In the Island of Jersey a law exists, by of Loch Lomond. Two islands are approwhich an habitually intemperate parent priated for the purpose, where “ the conmay, on sufficientevidence being adduced, be victs,” remarks this well-known writer, deprived of the guardianship of his children.“ meet with due attention, and such indulThis judicious law was put into execution gences as their friends may think proper to at no very distant period, as the following afford to them.”+ extract from a journal of that island will The validity of a will made by an hashow: “LAW OF PARENT AND CHILDREN bitual drunkard, and while under the exIN JERSEY.--The Attorney-General ap- citement of intoxication, has sometimes been peared before the Royal Court, on Satur- made a subject of legal inquiry: A hond, day, and called on the Judges to deprive however, on the principle of the English Mr. Nicholas Anthoine, clerk to the impost law, already stated, executed in a fit of office, of the right of control or management intoxication, holds good, unless evidence of his children, he being an habitual drunk- be brought forward to show that the party ard, and that the said court should appoint interested in the bond purposely contrived fit guardians for the said children. The to inebriate the person who signed it. Attorney-General stated, that the persons The decision of a magistrate upon the directed to inquire into Mr. Anthoine's bench, while in a state of inebriation, is, conduct had reported that he had often according to the English law, null and void, been seen drunk, and, whilst in that state, and the magistrate rendered thereby liable had danced in the streets, gathering a crowd to removal from office. around him, and was, consequently, unfit to The evidence, also, of a witness, in a state be an example to a growing family, and unfit of drunkenness, does not stand good. At also to be intrusted with its control. The the Surrey Sessions, September, 1837, a Solicitor-General, in behalf of Mr. An-young man was acquitted of the charge of thoine, contended, that the articles exhi- stealing a watch from the person of a dancingbited were insufficient to warrant the court master at Camberwell, through the prosein inflicting so serious a penalty on any cutor and his witness being in an evident In policy insurances upon lives, the con- of coming to his work in such a state of incealment of habits of intoxication is deemed toxication as to be unable to teach him his a sufficient reason for refusal of fulfilment trade. The proof failed in establishing the of the engagement. In two cases of this allegation that the boy had not made the kind, where it was proved that the indivi- same progress as other apprentices of his duals in question were at the time appa- age and experience in his trade; but the rently hale and healthy, it was decided Sheriff, after a patient investigation of proof, against the plaintiffs.*

state of intoxication when they appeared in

the witness-box. The dancing-master also * Beck's Med. Jurisprudence, p. 453. was tipsy when he lost his watch. | Collinson on Lunacy, vol. i., p. 71.

| Western Journal of Medical and Physical Science, vol. i., p. 81. Beck's Med. Jurisprudence, * Jersey Paper, 1837.

† Anatomy of Drunk enness, p. 222,

p. 453.

freed the apprentice from his indenture, on A case of considerable importance to mas- the ground of the pernicious example exhiters and apprentices was decided not very bited by the habitual intoxication of the long ago by Sheriff Bell, in the Sheriff's master, against whom the expenses of the Court, Kilmarnock, and recorded in the present action were given. The Sheriff journal bearing that name. A shoemaker laid it down as a rule that would guide him, brought an action against his apprentice that whenever a master showed an example for breach of indenture, by leaving his em- of drunkenness and immorality to his apprenployment, and claimed restoration of his tice, he would at once annul the bond that exservices, or compensation. It was pleaded, isted between them, whenever he wasappealed in behalf of the apprentice, that he was the to, as in the present instance.* only apprentice in the shop; that for some These are some of the most important time past, his master had been in the habit disabilities which, in the eye of the law,

are incurred by the crime of drunkenness. * East's Reports, 188, Aveson v. Lord Kinnaird and others; 5, Bingham's Rep. 503, Everett v. Desborough.

* Kilmarnock Journal, 1841.

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