Allowing the term insanity its strict signification, we should find hundreds with whom we mingle every day, yea, thousands in all grades of society, in every department of life, statesmen, clergymen, business-men, laboring under some form of mental derangement, and the world itself somewhat of a crazy world. A lunatic, who had been for some time confined in one of our asylums, was one day asked by a visitor, why he was sent there. He very shrewdly replied, it was all owing to a difference of opinion. The world insisted, that he was crazy, while he as strenuously maintained, the shoe was on the other foot, and the world was crazy; the world being in the majority and having the power in their own hands, carried the day and shut him up. Perhaps both were partially correct.

We can hardly believe, that a perfectly sane man will violate with impunity every law of nature, that he will sacrifice reputation, the esteem of the good, health, an easy conscience, and a home pervaded with an atmosphere of love for the gratification of selfish or sensual passions. "We can hardly look upon either the spendthrift, foolishly squandering his wealth, or the miser, hoarding up his gains and denying himself even the necessaries of life, as perfectly sane; and we certainly must look upon the mother, who trains her daughter in that cold and selfish school, where the warm feelings of the heart are frozen, and nature compelled to give place to art, in which, alas, too many of our daughters are educated, as possessing, to say the least, an extremely ill-balanced mind.

But our object here is to look upon insanity in a medical light, only so far as it assumes the perceptible character of a disease. However interesting the subject may be, we shall only have room to glance at it here. We may look at it under three divisions:

1. Moral insanity, consisting in a morbid perversion of the natural feelings, affections, temper, habits, etc, but without any maniacal hallucination, or any particular lesion of the intellect or reasoning faculties.

2. Intellectual insanity, attended with hallucination, when the patient believes in some unreal event, repugnant to his former experience and common-sense, and acts under the influence of this erroneous conviction.

3. There is another form, which might with propriety be called incoherent madness, in which the ideas follow each other with astonishing rapidity, but in a state of the most complete incoherence and confusion.

1. Moral Insanity. - There are thousands of persons at large throughout community, who are affected more or less with this modifiation of insanity. They are generally persons of singular, wayward, and eccentric character. On inquiry it will frequently be found, that habit, temper, and disposition seem gradually to have undergone a change. This may first be noticed after some severe shock, or a violent attack of sickness, or it may have been coming on for years, and is merely an increase of peculiarities always more or less natural or habitual. Certain forms of this variety of insanity are exceedingly difficult to detect, and sometimes, notwithstanding friends might be perfectly satisfied themselves, that the patient was really of unsound mind, they would still find it almost impossible to bring forward sufficient proof to satisfy a jury. The patient might be capable of reasoning with the greatest clearness on almost any topic, and accounting with great ingenuity and even plausibility for his eccentricities of conduct He often thinks and acts under the influence of strongly-excited feelings, during which time we may obtain a clue to his mental derangement.

I well recollect a case which occurred during my childhood in my native town and created considerable excitement. A Portuguese, by the name of Rabello. murdered a boy about ten years of age, the son of his employer, in a most horrid and savage manner. With an axe the head was severed from the trunk, the chest laid open and the boy literally chopped to pieces. Rabello had been looked upon as possessed of a morose and irritable disposition, but had by no means been considered insane. The indignation of the community was so strongly excited by this brutal and cold-blooded murder, that law-abiding and law-loving as they were, they could hardly be prevented from hanging the victim without judge or jury. The proof of the murder was positive, and there seemed to be not the slightest chance for the prisoner of escape from the gallows.

Hon. Truman Smith, since a member of the U. S. Senate, from Connecticut, believing the man deranged, undertook his defence, and on the trial so indefatigable was he in his exertions, that he succeeded in obtaining a verdict of insanity. Perhaps the indignation of the community was now about equally divided between Mr. Smith and the prisoner; both were denounced in the strongest terms, and the wise-acres shook their heads, mourned that justice had departed from the land, and the basest crime could now go unpunished. The prisoner was properly confined, and scarcely six weeks had pass-sed away, before he might have been seen chained to his cell, a raving madman. Had it not been for the enlightened efforts of his council on his trial, notwithstanding his insanity, he would have been condemned to death.

In this variety of insanity there are often violent outbursts of passion breaking out without cause, and leading oftentimes to the commission of crime. Cases are also exceedingly frequent where persons allow their feelings to become strongly and bitterly excited against others without proper cause or provocation; constantly brood, ing over fancied wrongs, misconstruing even acts of kindness, looking upon those who are really friends, as foes, ever finding fault with others, but seeing none in themselves, these feelings of malevolence and hatred may grow deeper and stronger, until the most ridiculous and absurd ideas obtain full possession of the mind, or perhaps the darker thoughts of murder creep in, at first scarcely whispered, but growing stronger and stronger, ever haunting them, and hurrying them on by an invisible force until the bloody deed is consummated. This is one form of moral insanity.