Last year, Dr. Esquirol compiled a table of statistics concerning insanity. It reads as follows: “Driven mad by love: two men, sixty women. Driven mad by religion: six men, twenty women. Driven mad by politics: forty-eight men, three women. Driven mad by financial loss: twenty-seven men, twenty-four women. Driven mad by cause or causes unknown: one man, no women.” The last statistic represents our poor friend.
(Theophile Gautier, “The Painter”, in My Fantoms, translated by Richard Holmes)
“Our poor friend” is the painter of the title, the unfortunately named Onuphrius Wphly. Have the proportions changed much in the last 178 years? I doubt it.