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P R E F A C E
N><r the first edition of this book was published, three and thirty years ago, an unprecedented degree of attention ha* been given to the Medical Jurisprudence <4 I inanity, and been followed by a remarkable improvement of it* condition. Treatises upon it have multiplied, the chapter devoted to it in general works on Medical Jurisprudence ha* evinced a hetter conception of the wbject. medical journals have abounded with its record*. aad medical societies hare freely and frequently discussed the questions it has raised The change of sentiment implied in these facts has not been confined to the medial profrMion. The bench and the bar have yielded or lew to the progress of ideas, and, in spite of attempt* to maintain the old landmarks, they have, Ob the whole, liberally responded to the requirements of science. Society, too, has berome more tolerant of aaovatiou* upon the time-honored philosophy of crime, iod more willing to accept the conclusions of science. Tbeve results may be attributed partly, no doubt, to the E'>r» active spirit of inquiry that ha* penaded every <V-r>artment of thought, but chiefly to the larger and more intelligent attention given to mental disorders by means of institutions devoted expressly to their treatment that have been established throughout the civilized world.
Of the abundant accessions to our knowledge that have been made since the last edition of this work appeared, I have availed myself as far as my limits would properly allow. While I have been obliged to leave much of it unused, though abounding with interest to the intelligent reader, I have noticed, I believe, every new development of scientific observation of much practical value.
March 1, 1871.
FROM THE PREFACE
Notwithstanding the great prevalence of insanity in Grrat Britain, and the vast amount of property affected by legal regulations and decisions respecting it, yet the English language does not furnish a single work in which the various forms and degrees of mental derangenvnt are treated in reference to their effect on the rights and duties of man. Dr. Haslam s tract on Medietd Jurisprudence as it relates to Insanity (1S07), which was republished in this country in lHl'J, by Dr. Cooper, m a volume of tracts by various English writers on different subjects of medical jurisprudence, though abounding in valuable reflections, is altogether too brief and jp-Dcral, to be of much practical service as a book at reference. Among a few other works more or less directly concerned with this subject, or in which some pants o( it are particularly touched upon, the Inquiry etmreming the Indinitinns of Infinity (1H30), by Dr. Cooolly, late Professor in the Ixmdon l"nivcp»ity, is worthy of especial notice in this connection, fur the remarkable ability and sound judgment with which all its views are conceived and sup|»ortrd. Though not esUirdy nor chiefly devoted to the legal relation* of the