“Men, boys, and girls Desert the unpeopled village; and wild crowds Spread o’er the plain, by the sweet phrensy
He loaded it, and rammed home the loading with his thumb-end; but hardly had he ignited his match across the rough sand-paper of his hand, when Tashtego, his harpooneer, whose eyes had been setting to windward like two fixed stars, suddenly dropped like light from his erect attitude to his seat, crying out in a quick phrensy
of hurry, Down, down all, and give way!
"[T]he Bible would be cast into a bonfire, our holy worship changed in a dance of Jacobin phrensy
[frenzy], our wives and daughters dishonored, and our sons converted into the disciples of Voltaire and the dragoons of Marat," Dwight ranted.
Manifestations of what we would now call "anti-social personality disorder" could not be accommodated within older definitions of insanity, which demanded the presence of delusions or hallucinations, was recognizable through the exhibition of "furor" or "phrensy
," and generally supported the idea of a loss of rational capacity (Augstein 311, Walker and McCabe 206).
The living searched in anxiety and even "phrensy
" to provide endings for life narratives that stood incomplete ...
All was now a phrensy
. 'The White Whale--the White Whale!' was the cry from captain, mates, and harpooneers, who, undeterred by fearful rumors, were all anxious to capture so famous and precious a fish; while the dogged crew eyed askance, and with curses, the appalling beauty of the vast milky mass, that lit up by a horizontal spangling sun, shifted and glistened like a living opal in the blue morning sea.
It was a vision, that might well renew The burning shapes of phrensy
to her view (ll.
"Goaded to phrensy
[sic] in its conflicts with conscience and common sense and reason, denied all quarters, and hunted from every convert, it vaults over the sacred enclosures, and courses up and down the Bible," seeking rest and finding none; the law of love glowing on every page, flashes around in omnipotent anguish and despair, and shrinks from the hatred [sic] light, and howls under the consuming torch, as demons quailed before the Son of God, and screeched aloud, "torment us not." At last it shrinks away under the types of the Mosiac system, and seeks to borrow [sic] out to sight as among the shadows vain hopes.
Perhaps they argued phrensy
rather than prejudice; but phrensy
, like prejudice, was curable.
A few months earlier in the Spectator he completely ravaged Mitford's History for its bias and total absence of veracity: "Mitford's narrative, written and published during the wildest height of Antijacobin phrensy
, is vitiated by an intensity of prejudice against whatever bears the name or semblance of popular institutions, which renders his representation of Grecian phaenomena not only false, but in many particulars the direct contrary of the truth" (24: 867-68).
Adeline reacts to this statement with a "phrensy
" of "anguish" (p.
Fringe's Treatise on phrensy
(1746), and the work of Sir Richard Blackmore (1725) and of Nicholas Robinson (1729) on the spleen and vapours.