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Hack Tuke, Daniel – Sickness - Death induced by powerful emotions – Rejection



Type of spiritual experience

A description of the experience

As described in Illustrations Of The Influence Of The Mind Upon The Body In Health And Disease, Designed To Elucidate The Action Of The Imagination - Daniel Hack Tuke, M.D., M.R.C.P.,


To the foregoing I add an abridged report from Descuret of a melancholy instance of death caused by Grief, combined, perhaps, with Chagrin.

An English nobleman in Paris dismissed his coachman, an old and faithful servant, because he allowed a miserable vehicle to pass his own equipage on the road. The poor man, soon becoming ill, was admitted at La Charity, when the interne, convinced that something preyed upon his mind, traced the cause of his symptoms to their root. He hastened to the house of Lord G — , and begged him to forgive his servant.

 "My lord," he said, "I have taken the liberty of coming to converse with you about a patient who interests me greatly. Consumed by the chagrin of having displeased your lordship, your unfortunate George is dying at the hospital."

"George at the hospital !" interrupts the proud Anglais ; "but this miserable man wishes still to dishonor me. Let him go out at once. I wish him to be treated at my expense, and to have all he wants."

"Your generosity does not surprise me, but your George cannot be removed ; he only requires one thing to make him die happy, and that is that your lordship will come and pardon him."

"I see George and pardon him ! But you cannot know that he has disgraced me by allowing me to be passed on the road by a fiacre."

The interne, begged in vain, and departed indignant. George did not take the money his master sent him, saying, in an almost inaudible voice, " The pardon of my lord alone can save my life !"

"How is George?" asked Lord G — one morning, of his valet, who returned from the hospital sadder than usual. "George is no more," he replied, "he died during the night."

"I am indeed very sorry ; he was a brave man, whom I used to like very much," coolly responded his lordship.

The worthy French doctor, who adduces the foregoing as an example of "orgueil et vanity d'un Anglais blesse' dans ses chevaux," adds, "And Lord G — thought to satisfy his conscience by sending some money to the widow of the man who had the misfortune to allow him to be overtaken by a fiacre"

(La Medecine des Passions. Par J. B. F. Descuret. 1841).

The source of the experience

Hack Tuke, Daniel

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image


Observation contributed by: Henry Ibberson