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“We have reason to congratulate ourselves” {I quote front the Superin­tendent’s Report for 1868} “that the situation of the Asylum is such as to render it a fair exponent of those sym­pathetic and humanizing ideas, the soundness and practicability of which it was erected to prove, — the theory which claims for the inebriate a recoverable judgment, sensible affections, and moral responsibility; and which, refusing any longer to coerce him as a criminal or confine him as a lunatic, proposes by positive aid and comfort, and confiding appeals to his reason, his affections, and his aspirations, to restore hint to himself, his family, and society.”

“To prove this we have to show, first, that he voluntarily surrenders himself, for a period more or less pro­tracted, according to the indications of his condition and the history of his case, to an isolation which we study to render agreeable, and a restraint the mildest he will allow us to impose and, secondly, that he can be trusted, his temptations, of course, being jealously checked.”

“Thus we have in the location of the Asylum the natural argument in favor of our views, and the natural means to demonstrate them ; for, being remote from police limits and “rounds,” we are not required to provide a mere convenient harbor and cell for the chance arrests of a night ; and on the other hand, being within easy distance of a brisk, attractive town, without bars or walls or guards between him and its allurements, the inebriate, strength­ened but guarded, at large but watched, has a chance, at proper seasons, to prove his courage and his honor. We have our penalties for infractions of rules and breaches of faith; but he also has his, in his own heart and con­science ; and of the two influences, the latter, the less formal, is the more po­tent.”

“Hence, a quality of genuineness, with every advantage of position and circumstance to test the truth of the conclusions upon which our grave ex­periment is founded, is afforded in the first place by our topographical condi­tions alone, and confirmed afterwards by the social and moral consent of the patient”         

“If. on the other hand, it be argued, as against the extreme mildness of our restraints,— the large privilege of going and coming, which it is in our theory to allow to all the members of our pe­culiar community, that it is liable to flagrant abuse, and that every instance of broken faith and dishonorable in­fraction of rules —as in the case of men who are allowed to visit Bingham­ton on their parole— is a positive reflec­tion upon the character of the Institu­tion and a damage to the faith and hopes of its friends, I reply that these are the very exceptions that prove the rule ; that to no circumstance so confi­dently as to this can we point for con­firmation and support of our law of kindness and trust ; for of the eighty- two men now in the Asylum there are certainly not more than ten who habit­ually practise deception, or otherwise break faith with us in this matter ; and even with many of these we find no method of discipline so wholesome and effectual as brief confinement, patient forbearance, and rational appeals to their reviving sense of honor.”

NOTE FROM BLOGSTER:  Isn’t it strange how all the beautiful language of the inebriate disappears the minute that authority walks through the door?