1
849 Suchlj8re the perception and fear of consequences, the affections, &c., and that force which has proved through history to be the greatest force of all-religion. Here I cannot do better than quote from Dr. Ormerod’s article on Hysteria in Allbutt’s "System of Medicine," for that which applies to hysteria applies also to other manifestations of the morbid mind. 11 Few things are more opposed to hysteria than the trustful, patient, altruistic spirit inculcated by Christianity and few things more conducive to it than the terrorism, revivalism, mysticism, or self-concentration which sometimes pose as religion." This is a factor in therapeutics which no medical man can afford to ignore, whatever his views may be on the trans- cendental claims of religion. It is to the first half of the quotation from Dr. Ormerod that I wish to direct attention. But while feeling it right also to quote the context I most earnestly disclaim any intention to pass judgment on those cases to which reference has been made in my article and by correspondents. It may be that these victims to the over- whelming stress of circumstance may prove to be uncon- scious martyrs in a cause which many have at heart-the checking of morbid sensationalism in the Press. I am, Sir-!, yours faithfully, Hampstead, Sept. 14th. 1903. J. S. MACKINTOSH. THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MISS HICKMAN, M.D. To the Editors of THE LANCET. SIRS,--Referring you to the papers herewith, I can only express my regret that the Royal Free Hospital authorities refuse to have a proper inquiry into the sudden disappear- ance of my dear daughter. I have appealed to the police authorities but they say that they are unable to hold an inquiry until the dead body of my daughter is produced. I had hoped that if the Royal Free Hospital authorities would have an inquiry, open to everyone who could give evidence and assistance and with power to cross-examine witnesses, some of the leading physicians of the day might attend and, after hearing the witnesses, give their opinion as to the state of mind of my daughter when she so mysteri- ously disappeared from the hospital about midday on August 15th last, since which date nothing whatever has been heard of her. If she left the hospital without having "lost her memory and in a perfect state of mind she must have been kept since then in some convent or other building so constructed that the inmates of it cannot communicate with the outer world. If my daughter had been taken to any ordinary house she, being so strong, would have made a disturbance sufficient to alarm the people in neighbouring houses who would have informed the police and obtained the reward of E200 for such information. I hope the public will warmly take up this unfortunate affair. If my daughter’s disappearance remains unsolved no woman will think she can be in the London streets in broad daylight with safety. I am, Sirs, yours faithfully, Fenchurch-street, London, Sept. 10th, 1903. E. F. HICKMAN. *** Among the papers to which Mr. Hickman refers are some copies of letters which appeared in an evening con- temporary during the year 1887 concerning convents. Of these letters one states, in a quotation from a pamphlet, that "many deaths take place in these institutions, but the registrar is not allowed to register them-is not even informed of them I As the law stands at present they can do as they like." The date of the letter in which this quotation appeared is Sept. 29th, 1887. Mr. Hickman suggests that his daughter is being kept in a convent and we presume that he wishes to imply that in case of her death in such an institution no one would know anything about it. This is not the case. The allegations that deaths occurring in conventual establishments are not reported to the Registrar- General and are not registered are entirely untrue. Convents are subject to the law of the land as regards deaths of inmates in exactly the same way as any other institution. We trust that the mystery of Miss Hickman’s disappearance may be soon cleared up, for the strain to which her relatives are at the present time subjected must be heartbreaking.-ED. L. THE MEDICAL PROFESSION AND QUACK MEDICINES. To the Editors of THE LANCET. sins,—.mere is a growing custom among yyest-eno. physicians to advise the use of patent medicines. They * usually go through the farce of writing out what purports to be a prescription on headed note-paper and signed, but on sending it to your druggist to have it dispensed you are supplied with "A. and K.’s Trynow," a commercial medicine and not a prescription from the British Pharmacopoeia which experience dictated to the mind of the great physician as suitable to your malady and which you were entitled to z expect for the fee of two guineas which you paid willingly. The druggist would charge nothing for suggesting Trynow " as a good commercial nerve tonic. Should there be no remedy for such solitary two-guinea advice as "Eat an apple * before breakfast" ? I have the deepest respect for the honourable professions and sincerely hope that the medical profession is not falling upon degenerate days. I am, Sirs, yours faithfully, 1 Sept.l0th.l903. faithfully, "SYRUP OF SQUILLS." NOTES FROM INDIA. (FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT.) The Rising Epidemic of Plague.-The New Water-supply for Mussoorie.-The New Tube Wells of B1lrmah. DURING the last week in August a marked increase has taken place in the mortality from plague in the Bombay Presidency, the deaths having risen from 2838 to 5568. The total mortality from plague in India has risen from 3613 to 6817. In Central India there has been an increase from 131 to 331, the mortality occurring chiefly in Indore city and Mhow cantonment. In Mysore also a rise has occurred from 331 to 535 and in Berar from 11 to 67. These figures are ominous because they show a widely spread recrudescence. At other places previously attacked the deaths are at present merely nominal-the Punjab and Calcutta, for example, only returning six deaths. Those who know Mussoorie will be glad to hear of the completion of a great scheme for a better water-supply. The water is to be obtained from the Kempter Falls ; the main feature is that it will be pumped up by electric power to three main reservoirs on the highest points of the ridge and thence distributed to the station. The electric plant is to have sufficient excess power to provide for the lighting of the whole place. A method of raising water which has attracted but little attention generally has been used with great success in Burmah and might be made applicable to many parts of India. It consists of sinking tube wells (six or seven inch tubes) through alluvial soils until water is reached. The water rises in the tubes perhaps within ten or 20 feet of the surface. Then comes the special feature of the new process. A two-inch pipe is put down the larger tube right to the bottom and compressed air is forced in. The water which before was too low to be utilised now rises above the surface to a height varying according to the pressure supplied.. The original supply may be as much as 200 feet below the surface but when the large tube is sunk it rises to a convenient distance. The compressed-air plant is not expensive and is readily applied. The system only requires to be known to be appreciated. August 28th. THE Nurses’ Home recently built in connexion with the Birkenhead Borough Hospital will be opened by Sir Elliott Lees, Bart., M.P., on Saturday, Sept. 26th, when all persons interested in the institution are invited to be present. The building, which is L-shaped in plan and consists of ground and first floors, fronts Livingstone-street and has been erected on land adjacent to the hospital which was purchased a year or two ago from the corpora- tion of Birkenhead. The home contains many modern improvements.

NOTES FROM INDIA

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849

Suchlj8re the perception and fear of consequences,the affections, &c., and that force which has provedthrough history to be the greatest force of all-religion.Here I cannot do better than quote from Dr. Ormerod’sarticle on Hysteria in Allbutt’s "System of Medicine," forthat which applies to hysteria applies also to othermanifestations of the morbid mind. 11 Few things are

more opposed to hysteria than the trustful, patient,altruistic spirit inculcated by Christianity and few thingsmore conducive to it than the terrorism, revivalism,mysticism, or self-concentration which sometimes pose asreligion."

This is a factor in therapeutics which no medical man canafford to ignore, whatever his views may be on the trans-cendental claims of religion. It is to the first half of thequotation from Dr. Ormerod that I wish to direct attention.But while feeling it right also to quote the context I mostearnestly disclaim any intention to pass judgment on thosecases to which reference has been made in my article and bycorrespondents. It may be that these victims to the over-

whelming stress of circumstance may prove to be uncon-scious martyrs in a cause which many have at heart-thechecking of morbid sensationalism in the Press.

I am, Sir-!, yours faithfully, Hampstead, Sept. 14th. 1903. J. S. MACKINTOSH.

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MISS

HICKMAN, M.D.To the Editors of THE LANCET.

SIRS,--Referring you to the papers herewith, I can onlyexpress my regret that the Royal Free Hospital authoritiesrefuse to have a proper inquiry into the sudden disappear-ance of my dear daughter. I have appealed to the policeauthorities but they say that they are unable to hold an

inquiry until the dead body of my daughter is produced.I had hoped that if the Royal Free Hospital authoritieswould have an inquiry, open to everyone who could giveevidence and assistance and with power to cross-examinewitnesses, some of the leading physicians of the day mightattend and, after hearing the witnesses, give their opinion asto the state of mind of my daughter when she so mysteri-ously disappeared from the hospital about midday on

August 15th last, since which date nothing whatever has beenheard of her. If she left the hospital without having "losther memory and in a perfect state of mind she must havebeen kept since then in some convent or other building soconstructed that the inmates of it cannot communicate withthe outer world. If my daughter had been taken to anyordinary house she, being so strong, would have made adisturbance sufficient to alarm the people in neighbouringhouses who would have informed the police and obtainedthe reward of E200 for such information.

I hope the public will warmly take up this unfortunateaffair. If my daughter’s disappearance remains unsolved nowoman will think she can be in the London streets in broad

daylight with safety.I am, Sirs, yours faithfully,

--

Fenchurch-street, London, Sept. 10th, 1903. E. F. HICKMAN.

*** Among the papers to which Mr. Hickman refers aresome copies of letters which appeared in an evening con-temporary during the year 1887 concerning convents. Of

these letters one states, in a quotation from a pamphlet,that "many deaths take place in these institutions, butthe registrar is not allowed to register them-is not eveninformed of them I As the law stands at present they cando as they like." The date of the letter in which this

quotation appeared is Sept. 29th, 1887. Mr. Hickman

suggests that his daughter is being kept in a convent and wepresume that he wishes to imply that in case of her death insuch an institution no one would know anything about it.This is not the case. The allegations that deaths occurring inconventual establishments are not reported to the Registrar-General and are not registered are entirely untrue.

Convents are subject to the law of the land as regardsdeaths of inmates in exactly the same way as any otherinstitution. We trust that the mystery of Miss Hickman’sdisappearance may be soon cleared up, for the strain to

which her relatives are at the present time subjected must

be heartbreaking.-ED. L.

THE MEDICAL PROFESSION AND

QUACK MEDICINES.To the Editors of THE LANCET.

sins,—.mere is a growing custom among yyest-eno.

physicians to advise the use of patent medicines. They* usually go through the farce of writing out what purports

to be a prescription on headed note-paper and signed, but

on sending it to your druggist to have it dispensed you are’

supplied with "A. and K.’s Trynow," a commercial medicine’ and not a prescription from the British Pharmacopoeia which

experience dictated to the mind of the great physician as’ suitable to your malady and which you were entitled toz expect for the fee of two guineas which you paid willingly. The druggist would charge nothing for suggesting Trynow

"

as a good commercial nerve tonic. Should there be no’

remedy for such solitary two-guinea advice as "Eat an apple* before breakfast" ? I have the deepest respect for the

honourable professions and sincerely hope that the medicalprofession is not falling upon degenerate days.

I am, Sirs, yours faithfully,1

Sept.l0th.l903.faithfully,"SYRUP OF SQUILLS."

NOTES FROM INDIA.(FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT.)

The Rising Epidemic of Plague.-The New Water-supply forMussoorie.-The New Tube Wells of B1lrmah.

DURING the last week in August a marked increase hastaken place in the mortality from plague in the BombayPresidency, the deaths having risen from 2838 to 5568.The total mortality from plague in India has risen from3613 to 6817. In Central India there has been an increasefrom 131 to 331, the mortality occurring chiefly in Indorecity and Mhow cantonment. In Mysore also a rise hasoccurred from 331 to 535 and in Berar from 11 to 67. These

figures are ominous because they show a widely spreadrecrudescence. At other places previously attacked thedeaths are at present merely nominal-the Punjab andCalcutta, for example, only returning six deaths.Those who know Mussoorie will be glad to hear of the

completion of a great scheme for a better water-supply.The water is to be obtained from the Kempter Falls ; themain feature is that it will be pumped up by electric powerto three main reservoirs on the highest points of the ridgeand thence distributed to the station. The electric plant isto have sufficient excess power to provide for the lightingof the whole place.A method of raising water which has attracted but little

attention generally has been used with great success inBurmah and might be made applicable to many parts ofIndia. It consists of sinking tube wells (six or seven inchtubes) through alluvial soils until water is reached. Thewater rises in the tubes perhaps within ten or 20 feet of thesurface. Then comes the special feature of the new process.A two-inch pipe is put down the larger tube right to thebottom and compressed air is forced in. The water whichbefore was too low to be utilised now rises above the surfaceto a height varying according to the pressure supplied.. The

original supply may be as much as 200 feet below the surfacebut when the large tube is sunk it rises to a convenientdistance. The compressed-air plant is not expensive and isreadily applied. The system only requires to be known tobe appreciated.August 28th.

THE Nurses’ Home recently built in connexionwith the Birkenhead Borough Hospital will be opened bySir Elliott Lees, Bart., M.P., on Saturday, Sept. 26th,when all persons interested in the institution are invited tobe present. The building, which is L-shaped in plan andconsists of ground and first floors, fronts Livingstone-streetand has been erected on land adjacent to the hospitalwhich was purchased a year or two ago from the corpora-tion of Birkenhead. The home contains many modernimprovements.