1
170 favourable soil for its development. In this respect practi- cally everything remains to be done in Egypt," and Lord Cromer adds: " There can be no doubt of the truth of these i remarks....... I do not doubt that the day of the Egyptian sanitary reformer will come, but I fear, though I say it with regret, that some little while must yet elapse before the question of improved sanitation in Egypt can be taken seriously in hand." This is rather disheartening, con- sidering that at the time these words were written England had been in Egypt for 14 years. Lord Cromer is of opinion that sanitary reformers require immense sums of money to work with, and such no doubt is the case if all that is desirable is to be attempted. There is scope in Egypt, however, for much comparatively inexpensive sanitation, and if the whole of the money needed cannot be granted at present we trust it will be found possible, now that the Soudan question has been settled, to increase the totally inadequate sanitary budget by a substantial addition. THE IMITATIVE ELEMENT IN CRIME. MORE than once we have commented on the " I contagious 9’ effect of crime, particularly when sensational or dramatic in its tenour, and the last few months have supplied us with striking instances in point. In THE LANCET of June 24th, p. 1747, our Rome correspondent described the tragic death of the " Medico Primario " of the Santo Spirito Hospital- stabbed in the neck by a vindictive artisan who, having re- ceived all the benefit which that institution could vouchsafe, felt aggrieved at being sent out to resume his bread-winning and to make room for cases more urgent. The murder was committed with a large, long, rusty nail, sharpened at the point till it became a stiletto-an almost exact replica of the weapon with which Luccheni assassinated the Empress of Austria just 10 months before. It was thrown into the Tiber when it had served its purpose, but the lay press described it all too faithfully for it to escape the notice of imitators of its wielder. In fact, the Roman journals a few days after the murder put the following occurrence on record. At the same Santo Spirito Hospital a woman presented herself with a request to see a phthisical patient whose name and number in the ward she gave correctly. Admitted to an ante-room she somehow excited suspicion on the part of those in attendance. She was searched and was found to be in possession of " a large, long nail, sharpened at the point," wrapped up in a packet, and exactly like that with which Dr. Bondi had been murdered. She was of course arrested and in subsequent examination confessed that the nail was "destinato all’ ammalato’, (destined for the patient). But for this opportune detec- tion the woman might have been the medium of another assassination on the lines of that perpetrated by Romanelli and by Caioni, all in the same hospital, and all by phthisical inmates. These two miscreants, it appears, come psycho- logically and physiologically under the " hysterico- epileptoid" category-a type of "developmental retro- cession" " carrying with it an ape-like or ’’ pithecoid" " imitativeness, manifested also in others (Luccheni, for example) whose deeds of violence betray a family re- semblance down to their mod2s operandi and even their instruments. The theme possesses a gruesome fascination for more than the criminal anthropologist and will doubt- less receive full justice at the hands of the Lombrosos and the Ferris who at the International Congress at The Hague will maintain with even greater eloquence than they did at its Geneva predecessor the existence, nay, the increasing pre- valence, of the "born criminal." Meanwhile, the "con- tagious" effect of crime operating on thosewhose "pithe- coid imitativeness" " is part of their "retrocedentorganisa- tion" is sufficiently established to enhance the regret that lay journalism, within its undoubted province of describing current events, inevitably panders to the morbid craving of which the said "imitativeness" is an expression and neutralises much of its undoubted benefit by helping to diffuse the "criminal contagion " of which Italy and Rome so vividly illustrate the effects. THE MEMORIAL TO THE COUNCIL OF THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS OF ENGLAND. IN reply to numerous inquiries the honorary secretary of the Society of Members of the Royal College of Surgeons of England asks us to state that a copy of this memorial will lie for signature at 11, Adam-street, Strand. BEDFORD COUNTY HOSPITAL. ON June 21st a new hospital for Bedford, erected in place of the Bedford General Infirmary which was founded in 1802, was opened. The infirmary was built in consequence of the bequest of Samuel Whitbread of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire who left a sum of S3000 upon trust for the erection and endowment of a public hos- pital or infirmary. The accommodation of the infirmary was sufficiently adequate for the needs of the infirmary when first planned, but it has since become neces- sary to increase the accommodation provided in the old building as well as to make many improvements. At the suggestion of Mr. Samuel Whitbread, great-grandson of the founder, the county of Bedford was appealed to for funds, the subscription list being headed by the Duke of Bedford and Mr. Whitbread, who gave 5000 each. The new buildings, of which Mr. H. Percy Adams is the architect, cover over 10 acres of ground, are 95 feet above the level of the sea, and are erected on a bed of hard gravel. The wards, which are built on the pavilion system, are three in number and will accommodate 90 men, women, and children. The air space per bed is 1513 cubic feet. Ample and convenient accommodation is provided for administra- tion and for nurses, &c., and there is a well-furnished and tastefully decorated chapel. Everything seems to have been done that was possible to bring the hospital in a line with modern standards, and the architect and all concerned in its erection are to be congratulated. The total cost is estimated at öC38,OOO. - THE WRITINGS OF MR. HAVELOCK ELLIS. IN two of the June numbers of the Maryland Medical J01l’rnal Dr. William Lee Howard of Baltimore blames the unwillingness of some medical men to treat patients whose symptoms, whether bodily or mental, are related to the sexual organs or functions, and he vigorously denounces the prosecution last year of the London agent for the sale of Mr. Havelock Ellis’s book, "Sexual In- version." He maintains that a recognition of the patho- logical states of the sexual centres as demonstrated in certain psychical conditions and morbid acts, together with a full comprehension of the power of association and suggestion in the adolescent sexual neuropath, are essential for medical practitioners, and he argues that if a pathological state such as congenital sex perversion is too disgusting to be recognised, then a pathological state producing syphilitic sores of the genitals ought by parity of reasoning to be too filthy to be treated. He had been hoping that Mr. Havelock Ellis’s prohibited book would have had the effect of bringing English medical men and publicists to under- stand that a human being is just as liable to have the growth in the cells making up the sexual centre disturbed and distorted as in the cells making up any other centre, physiological or psychical, from which it follows that it is unreasonable to send a man to prison because he is deformed

THE MEMORIAL TO THE COUNCIL OF THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS OF ENGLAND

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170

favourable soil for its development. In this respect practi-cally everything remains to be done in Egypt," and LordCromer adds: " There can be no doubt of the truth of these i

remarks....... I do not doubt that the day of the Egyptiansanitary reformer will come, but I fear, though I say it withregret, that some little while must yet elapse before thequestion of improved sanitation in Egypt can be taken

seriously in hand." This is rather disheartening, con-

sidering that at the time these words were written Englandhad been in Egypt for 14 years. Lord Cromer is of opinionthat sanitary reformers require immense sums of money towork with, and such no doubt is the case if all that isdesirable is to be attempted. There is scope in Egypt,however, for much comparatively inexpensive sanitation,and if the whole of the money needed cannot be grantedat present we trust it will be found possible, now that theSoudan question has been settled, to increase the totallyinadequate sanitary budget by a substantial addition.

THE IMITATIVE ELEMENT IN CRIME.

MORE than once we have commented on the " I contagious 9’

effect of crime, particularly when sensational or dramatic inits tenour, and the last few months have supplied us withstriking instances in point. In THE LANCET of June 24th,p. 1747, our Rome correspondent described the tragic deathof the " Medico Primario " of the Santo Spirito Hospital-stabbed in the neck by a vindictive artisan who, having re-ceived all the benefit which that institution could vouchsafe,felt aggrieved at being sent out to resume his bread-winningand to make room for cases more urgent. The murder wascommitted with a large, long, rusty nail, sharpened at thepoint till it became a stiletto-an almost exact replica of theweapon with which Luccheni assassinated the Empress ofAustria just 10 months before. It was thrown into theTiber when it had served its purpose, but the lay pressdescribed it all too faithfully for it to escape the noticeof imitators of its wielder. In fact, the Roman

journals a few days after the murder put the followingoccurrence on record. At the same Santo Spirito Hospitala woman presented herself with a request to see a phthisicalpatient whose name and number in the ward she gavecorrectly. Admitted to an ante-room she somehow excited

suspicion on the part of those in attendance. She wassearched and was found to be in possession of " a large, longnail, sharpened at the point," wrapped up in a packet, andexactly like that with which Dr. Bondi had been murdered.She was of course arrested and in subsequent examinationconfessed that the nail was "destinato all’ ammalato’,

(destined for the patient). But for this opportune detec-tion the woman might have been the medium of anotherassassination on the lines of that perpetrated by Romanelliand by Caioni, all in the same hospital, and all by phthisicalinmates. These two miscreants, it appears, come psycho-logically and physiologically under the " hysterico-epileptoid" category-a type of "developmental retro-

cession" " carrying with it an ape-like or ’’ pithecoid" "

imitativeness, manifested also in others (Luccheni, for

example) whose deeds of violence betray a family re-

semblance down to their mod2s operandi and even theirinstruments. The theme possesses a gruesome fascinationfor more than the criminal anthropologist and will doubt-less receive full justice at the hands of the Lombrosos andthe Ferris who at the International Congress at The Haguewill maintain with even greater eloquence than they did atits Geneva predecessor the existence, nay, the increasing pre-valence, of the "born criminal." Meanwhile, the "con-tagious" effect of crime operating on thosewhose "pithe-coid imitativeness" " is part of their "retrocedentorganisa-tion" is sufficiently established to enhance the regret thatlay journalism, within its undoubted province of describing

current events, inevitably panders to the morbid cravingof which the said "imitativeness" is an expression andneutralises much of its undoubted benefit by helping todiffuse the "criminal contagion " of which Italy and Romeso vividly illustrate the effects.

THE MEMORIAL TO THE COUNCIL OF THEROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS OF

ENGLAND.

IN reply to numerous inquiries the honorary secretary ofthe Society of Members of the Royal College of Surgeons ofEngland asks us to state that a copy of this memorial willlie for signature at 11, Adam-street, Strand.

BEDFORD COUNTY HOSPITAL.

ON June 21st a new hospital for Bedford, erectedin place of the Bedford General Infirmary which was

founded in 1802, was opened. The infirmary was built inconsequence of the bequest of Samuel Whitbread ofBedfordshire and Hertfordshire who left a sum of S3000

upon trust for the erection and endowment of a public hos-pital or infirmary. The accommodation of the infirmarywas sufficiently adequate for the needs of the infirmarywhen first planned, but it has since become neces-

sary to increase the accommodation provided in the old

building as well as to make many improvements. At the

suggestion of Mr. Samuel Whitbread, great-grandson of thefounder, the county of Bedford was appealed to for funds,the subscription list being headed by the Duke of Bedfordand Mr. Whitbread, who gave 5000 each. The new

buildings, of which Mr. H. Percy Adams is the architect,cover over 10 acres of ground, are 95 feet above the level ofthe sea, and are erected on a bed of hard gravel. The

wards, which are built on the pavilion system, are threein number and will accommodate 90 men, women, andchildren. The air space per bed is 1513 cubic feet. Ampleand convenient accommodation is provided for administra-tion and for nurses, &c., and there is a well-furnished and

tastefully decorated chapel. Everything seems to have beendone that was possible to bring the hospital in a line withmodern standards, and the architect and all concerned inits erection are to be congratulated. The total cost is

estimated at öC38,OOO. -

THE WRITINGS OF MR. HAVELOCK ELLIS.

IN two of the June numbers of the Maryland MedicalJ01l’rnal Dr. William Lee Howard of Baltimore blames the

unwillingness of some medical men to treat patients whosesymptoms, whether bodily or mental, are related to the

sexual organs or functions, and he vigorously denouncesthe prosecution last year of the London agent forthe sale of Mr. Havelock Ellis’s book, "Sexual In-

version." He maintains that a recognition of the patho-logical states of the sexual centres as demonstrated incertain psychical conditions and morbid acts, togetherwith a full comprehension of the power of association andsuggestion in the adolescent sexual neuropath, are essentialfor medical practitioners, and he argues that if a pathologicalstate such as congenital sex perversion is too disgustingto be recognised, then a pathological state producingsyphilitic sores of the genitals ought by parity of reasoning tobe too filthy to be treated. He had been hoping that Mr.Havelock Ellis’s prohibited book would have had the effectof bringing English medical men and publicists to under-stand that a human being is just as liable to have the growthin the cells making up the sexual centre disturbed anddistorted as in the cells making up any other centre,

physiological or psychical, from which it follows that it is

unreasonable to send a man to prison because he is deformed