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Modern Persecution, or Insane Asylums Unveiled
"Why, she is the most intelligent lady I ever saw! There is not the least particle of insanity about her! There must be some mistake about that."
"I think so too, for she has been just as she is now, during the three weeks I have been here, and all in the house say she has been just the same, ever since she has been here."
"There must be some mistake-there is foul play somewhere -- I shall speak to Dr. McFarland about this."
And he did speak; and the result was: Miss Tryon received express orders from Dr. McFarland never to let her father into the ward again!
One afternoon, Miss Try on came to me in quite an exhausted condition, exclaiming:
"I am actually weak and faint from witnessing a scene of abuse in the lowest ward. Bridget Welch, Elizabeth Bonner's assistant, has been treating one of her patients most barbarously. I never saw a human being so basely abused. Bridget, in her passion, seemed more like a fiend than a woman. If Dr. McFarland could have seen and known how she treated her patient, and approved of it, he must be a very different man from what I had supposed."
"The Doctor does know and approve of things most horrible here. I could prove that Elizabeth Bonner had said the Doctor once caught her, in one of her passions, abusing her defenceless victim, and gave her a smile of approbation, leaving her to expend her fury to her heart's content."
She replied, that Bridget had told her that she and Elizabeth. were fighting Miss Rolling, and the Doctor caught them at it, and simply passed on, exclaiming as he passed:
"'That is right -- Give it to her, unless she will give up.'" But, "it don't sound like Dr. McFarland."
"No, it don't sound like him in his ostensible character, but I fear it is like him in his real character; he is a very deceit-ful man. He looks well after his ostensible character, and plans very adroitly, to delude, deceive, and pervert the truth, so as to shield himself publicly from the imputation of inhumanity. When he finds he has gone too far in encouraging abuse, and is in danger of exposure, he is careful to give the tide of feeling a new turn, by discharging the attendant for abuse, and thus reserve to himself the credit of being humane to his patients.
Thus he puts upon our merciful sex, the credit of the inhumanity of his acts, and claims to himself the humanity. In reality, he instigates them to do what their nature revolts at, but what they feel compelled to do, to retain his approval; then he will add abuse to abuse by discharging them for doing as he wished them to do!"
She said Bridget Connelly had refused to leave the dining-room at the request of Bridget Welch, the attendant. Instead of dealing gently with her, to induce her to go, they used authority over her, which did not increase her readiness to obey.
Then commenced a terrible scene of battle; the attendant seized Bridget by the hair, when Miss Tryon came to the rescue.
She endeavored to pacify both parties, by trying to induce Bridget Connelly to leave the hall. But her endeavors were not successful in making peace.
By the help of another attendant, they undertook to secure the obedience of Bridget by brute force. Thus they succeeded in what they called "subduing her."
"Having done this, and even after the patient had yielded, they inflicted upon her a terrible beating. Then throwing her upon the floor, they kicked, pounded, and stamped upon her with both feet. They repeatedly knocked her head upon the floor with great violence, pulled up her head by the hair, pounding it with vehemence. It seemed as if this process must have beaten all the sense out of her, which was, indeed, the case. She became almost insensible before they finished. Exhausted and overcome with suffering, her strength now entirely failed. In this condition they dragged her, as if she were a dead carcass, from the dining-room, across the long hall, then locked her up, and left her alone to her fate. Indeed she seemed nearly dead."
I said to Miss Tryon, "The Doctor ought to know it."
"I do not like to tell him, being a stranger here; and I may get the ill will of the attendants. Dr. McFarland often instructs us to observe the By-laws, which say we must take the attendants' part, when called upon to do so, and I did not continue to do it when I found how she was misusing her."
I felt that I could appreciate her feelings, and could not urge her to tell the Doctor; but I felt that a responsibility rested now upon me, and retired to my room to seek wisdom to know and do my duty with reference to it.
While thus employed, Miss Tryon came to my door, and asked me to promise her that I would say nothing to the Doctor about it.
I told her I would not make such a promise; that I had the demands of my own conscience to meet, and I should do what I seemed my duty. I added, however:
"You have nothing to fear, Miss Tryon, from what I do; it will not harm you, for you are deserving great praise for what you have done. The stand you have taken, has shown you to be true to your nature -- to the dictates of humanity -- such a position cannot harm you. It will exalt you more than any course you can pursue. Don't fear to do right -- to be true to your kind instinct -- for this is the only true road to preferment."