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Old September 2, 2007, 06:09 PM   #234
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,291
Ad from Punch

So I'm trying to find the 19th Century standards for a surgeon to declare someone an imbecile. Here's what I found that, while not useful to me, is amusing.

Genre: Letter, Spoof

Subjects: Mental Illness, Commerce, Gender

Criticizes the amount of money (£15–£20,000) spent on the legal case to determine whether 'a young man', William F Windham Windham, William F (1840–66), 'is insane or no in order to decide as to his fitness for managing his affairs'. Points out that 'Every wild young man almost is unfit to manage his affairs' and so 'proper people should be appointed to take care of his estates' and he should be made 'incapable of running into debt or of marrying without the consent of his guardians'. The writer believes that if one of her seven daughters were to marry a 'simpleton' she would enjoy a quiet life, and in a postscript asks for a 'rich imbecile young man that would suit my child' for 'the only true Asylum for Idiots is Woman's Heart'.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
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