Full text: Problems in eugenics

378Section IV.Magnan and 
with a hereditary taint may be a savant, a distinguished magistrate, an 
eminent mathematician, a shrewd politician, an able administrator, and yet 
from the moral point of view may exhibit profound defects, queer 
whimsicality, surprising oddities of conduct; and since our moral side, our 
sentiments and likings, are at the bottom of our overt actions, it follows 
that the brilliant faculties are put to the service of an ignoble cause; that is 
to say, of instincts, appetites and sentiments of a low order, which by 
reason of the failure of will-power drive their subject to the most 
extravagant, and sometimes the most dangerous actions (i). 
We have traced the epileptics who have been admitted from 1880 to 
1912 in the following table. The total numbers only give an imperfect 
account of the extent of the evil. In fact, many of these poor things 
avoid the asylums, and others only come back after an increase in the 
number of attacks, or after an access of delirium, often due to their own 
excess in drink. This last increases the frequency and intensity of the 
attacks, and gives rise to fits of delirium, apart from which these patients 
would have been able to continue to work outside, and to follow the treat­ 
ment prescribed to out-patients (2). When they are temperate, many of 
them can continue their work outside, and even improve their health (3). 
This is notably true of women, who owing to their greater general sobriety, 
can in spite of epilepsy or hysteria continue their occupations, and live 
without danger in their families; sometimes also their neuroses improve, 
their crises become more and more rare, and are not accompanied by delirium 
(4). On the other hand, the number of epileptics who return to the asylum 
Admitted from 1880 to 1911. 
Years.Men.Women.Total.Years.Men.Women.Total. 18801385°18818969577172 188114948197189711383196 
188212362185189810766173 188316999268189910870178 
18841708025019009664160 188517591266190111877195 18861546822219029i64155 1887134591931903949619a 18881288120919049173164 
18901285918719069366159 1891136471831907867i157 18921574219919089273i65 18931235818119099275167 
18941 ?s5i1741910ic872180 
189587701571911977[168 (1) Infancy of criminals considered in relation to natural -predisposition to 
crime. Magnan’s Report at the Congress of Criminal Anthropology, 1889. 
(2) Report Magnan, 1901. (3) Report Magnan, 1904. (4) Report 
Magnan, 1901.

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