The Times of Saturday last calls attention to an interesting
report lately made by the inspectors of Irish lunatic asylums. Between 1851 and 1891, the insane of all classes increased 200 per cent., and this in face of a decreasing population, and at a much faster rate than the increase of registered insane in either England or Scotland. No doubt some of the increase is only apparent. Still the Commissioners cannot abstain from the terrible conclusion that there is an actual increase of insanity. And not only is there more madness. The prevalent types are of a worse kind, and less amenable to treatment than those once common. The causes assigned are,—(1), the impoverishment of the community owing to the emigration of its strongest and most active members, and the return of emigrants who have broken down physically and men- tally under the strain of new duties, circumstances, and occupations—in one small district asylum no fewer than thir- teen of the male inmates had lived abroad; (2), alcohol ; and the (3) intemperate consumption of tea. The old diet was oatmeal porridge, potatoes, and milk, now it is, morning, day, and evening, of bread and tea, "the latter being pre- pared in the shape of a concentrated decoction." We do not wish to intrude political considerations unduly, but it is only too likely that in many districts fifteen years of terror may have acted as the Revolution did in France.