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Modern Persecution, or Insane Asylums Unveiled
And so it was with the feelings awakened by my husband's authority; he mingled with it so much of the tyrant, at the same time denying me the protection of the man, that my higher love was never quickened into natural life under either influence. This great want of my nature, spiritual freedom, was never met or gratified, until this period, when, under the manly protection of Dr. McFarland, I was allowed to write an independent book, free from all dictation.
The awe of the tyrant was now settling into a reverence for a mighty power, adequate to this great emergency. As he had had almost omnipotent power to crush, so he now had this same power to raise and defend me. The power of the Husband, the power of the Trustees, the power of the State, had all been delegated to him. As to the power of protection, he was all in all to me now; and the spiritual freedom granted to me by this power was almost God-like.
Dr. McFarland knew that one great object in my writing my book, was to destroy the evils of Insane Asylums, and he knew too, that in order to expose these evils, I must necessarily expose him in his abuse of power. Still, like the Trustees, he tolerated the truth, sad though it was -- for example:
One day he came to my room after I had just completed a delineation of himself through his own actions which pre-sented him in a most unfavorable light, and as I allowed him to see all I wrote, if he wished it, I handed him these sheets, saying:
"Doctor, what will you do when such facts come to be pub-lished? Can you stand before them?"
After reading them carefully through, he remarked with a deep sigh:
"If I stand at all, I must stand before it, -- for it is the truth! "
Could I help reverencing a power who would thus submis-sively and coolly take this severe chastisement from one whom he regarded as his dependent?
No, I could not.
I felt that here was a eulogy, a compliment bestowed in a manly style, surpassing anything I had ever witnessed. It said to me:
"Mrs. Packard, I can trust you -- I will trust you, for you are such a truthful witness I dare not confront you."
Yes, his fortitude, his patience, his tolerance under my castigation -- severe as his own unvarnished actions made them -- really moved my pity, and led me to exclaim:
"Oh, Doctor, how could you compel me to write such a hateful record! How could you act so meanly! How I do wish I had no such sad truths to tell! Now Doctor, you must give me a chance to redeem your character as a penitent. Won't you do so?"
Yes, he did resolve to be my manly protector, by letting me write just such a book as I pleased, thus trusting his character, as it were, entirely in my hands. Oh, this trust! -- This sacred trust -- second to nothing but the ark of truth! Under the influence of these feelings, the legitimate offspring of such exhibitions of manliness, I prepared the first installment of "The Great Drama," for publication.
I told him the manuscript was ready for the printer, and inquired if he held himself responsible to publish this, by the first offer he had made me. Of course there was ground for hesitation by the enhanced expense. I, therefore, offered to write to my son and get the extra amount, to meet this emergency.
Still he hesitated -- I thought too, I could detect the old "policy" principle coming into life again, aiming to supplant the self-sacrificing spirit of benevolence, which seemed to be just taking root in his heart. I trembled -- knowing that my all depended upon his continuance in well doing.
I asked wisdom. It was impressed upon my mind to write him a letter -- I did so -- and as I took it to my attendant, Miss Mills, and asked her to carry .it to the Doctor's office, and deliver it herself, I said, as the presentiment of the coming storm came over me:
"This may bring a storm of indignation upon me; if it does, do the best you can for me, but don't tell a he to help me."
In this note I had expressed my fears, that the fear of man was gaining the ascendency over his better nature -- that in-stead of daring to trust himself where the truth would place him, as his higher nature prompted, I feared he was settling down on to the plane of selfish policy, so beneath the noble dignity of his nature, and I gently warned him of the conse-quences of such a relapse, saying:
"I shall be just as much bound to expose the truth, as be-fore; but with this relapse I cannot save you with this cause of truth, as you will not then be the penitent, which is indispensable to my saving you with the ark of truth." In short, I added, "If you fail to keep your promise to publish my book, or help me to liberty, I shall feel bound to fulfill my promise .to expose you."
In about one hour from the time Miss Mills delivered the note, I heard his footsteps in the hall, and I could also almost hear my own heart palpitate with emotion as the step ap-proached my door. I responded to his rap as usual, by open-ing the door, and extending my hand, said:
"Good morning, Doctor!"