Typos p. 200: architechtonic [= architectonic]; p. 206: retinits [= retinitis]; p. 223: pyorrhea [= pyorrha]; p. 223: hairness [= hairiness]; p. 225: this is a a [= this is a]; p. 234: verticle [= vertical]
The More Fundamental Desiderata
4. Beauty and Health
But the beauty which is health and good spirits is not all. There are two other qualities savouriness and lustre which I regard as a sine quâ non of happy mating as of beauty. Beauty is, however, often thought possible without them, and I have not found the first mentioned in any modern treatises on marriage which I have read.
By the word "savouriness" I mean the quality a Frenchman has in mind when he says of a girl that she is "jolie à croquer", which the Germans describe as "appetitlich", and old Wolfram von Eschenbach called "küssenlich" (kissable). I shall try to describe it exactly, because, if the union is to be happy and the sexual experience of each party perfect, it is as essential in the male as in the female.
The first fact about this essential quality is that although the person possessing it may conceivably revolt one by his or her bad temper, lack of humour, or "unsporting" way of looking at life, there is one thing he or she will never revolt one by and that is his or her person. People who have this quality never, under any circumstances, provoke the reaction "nausea" in those who live with them. They are physiologically sweet and clean, even though, as often happens in the working classes, they may have dirty hands or dirty faces.
The second fact about this quality is that, with those who possess it, we never mind how close, how completely contactual our intimacy with them becomes. There is nothing about them that can possibly offend the senses or the taste, however "sinful" they may be; consequently, that completest fusion which love desires and enjoys becomes possible and ecstatic with such people.
In my previous works on sex, I have given the word "savouriness" to this quality, and, as I can find no better, I propose to use it here.
"In the deepest and most rapturous transports of love, where a large proportion of the ecstasy depends upon the bodily savouriness and sweetness of the couple involved, natural and normal physiological equipment is of paramount importance. A clean mouth, full of natural teeth, firmly set in unimpaired gums; a clean fresh tongue, not even slightly furred by incipient chronic indigestion; a sweet breath, and the natural fragrance of a healthily functioning body! who knows love as Nature intended him to know it, if he has not known these things?"
Now happy marriage involves the most intimate contact, the most unreserved physical abandonment of two human beings. But all close contact between two bodies, all acts in which the bared mucous membrane of the mouth, as in passionate kissing, or of other parts of the body, as in coitus, is surrendered and exposed to another's flesh, must, if they are to be wholly pleasant and free from anxiety feelings or nausea, be accompanied by an assurance, gained from the experience of the senses, that the partner is wholly savoury.
I am not arguing that sexual relations cannot be, or are not, constantly enjoyed among latter-day humans without this factor of "savouriness" in one or in both partners (it is better for mutual toleration when both fail to have it than when one does). All I insist upon is this that in order that the sexual life may be supremely enjoyable, and, above all, in order that the joy may endure, it is most important that there should be nothing, not even the smallest trace of unsavouriness present. For, although it may possibly be overlooked at first, it is bound to be noticed sooner or later, and by causing faint or serious nausea, to hasten the ultimate surfeit or disgust that ends in estrangement.
All of us who have used our eyes and noses know what Talleyrand meant when he cynically described marriage as "Deux mauvaises humeurs pendant le jour, et deux mauvaises odeurs pendant la nuit"; but it is not everybody who knows that if we are to experience the ritual of the erotic kiss, described as desirable in the ANANGA-RANGA, 1 or by Sheik Nefzaiu, 2 or by a modern medical man like Dr. Van de Velde, 3 it is essential that extreme savouriness of the mouth, at least, should be characteristic of both partners.
1 A.R., Chap. IX. See also the seven different uses of the teeth in the same book.
2 LE LIVRE DE L'AMOUR DE L'ORIENT (Paris, 1922, Chap. V).
3 I.M., pp. 151155.
It may be objected that the presence of health and beauty would per se exclude such defects. It is true that they should. But, unfortunately, among modern, civilized people, standards are often so low, that a person will be deemed healthy, simply because he or she does not happen for some time to have been under a doctor. A person is often regarded as "normal" to-day, when he or she has false teeth, wears glasses, is not free from unpleasant odours, and when his or her tongue is constantly furred.
That is why it is all important specially to insist on this quality which I call "savouriness", over and above what is accepted as, or what medical men call, "normal health and beauty", otherwise the two latter qualities may easily be imagined as having been secured without the former.
Nor do we find this quality of "savouriness" omitted from the catalogue of desiderata in ancient religions and canons of beauty. On the contrary, it is the subject of constant attention. The Southern Slavs, for instance, quite rightly place foul breath among the obstacles to marriage. 4
Among the ancient Jews "foul odour from the mouth, excessive perspiration and an unpleasant rough voice" were among the 145 defects disqualifying a woman from marriage. 5 For the
1 Dr. H. H. Mosher's recent researches into the constituents of human perspiration support the average person's strong dislike of it in another, because sweat (qualitatively) has been "found similar to urine in composition." J.A.M.A., 20.5.33, p. 1602.
2 S.P.S., IV, pp. 661: "The sweat-glands are larger in Europeans than in the Japanese, among whom a strong personal odour is so uncommon that 'armpit stink' is a disqualification for the army."
3 Chewing tobacco, heavy smoking, drinking, or even gum-chewing, may thus be condemned for lovers with ardent sensibilities. Unfortunately, this also applies to the healthy practice of eating onions and garlic. My own investigations in Provence and Italy, however, point to the conclusion that when both partners eat. onions and garlic, as they should, the aroma is not noticed. Martial (XIII, 18) says bluntly: "Whenever you have eaten leeks, give kisses with a shut mouth."
4 D.W., II, p. 229.
5 T.J.C, p. 44.
The Talmudic sages also carefully enumerated various physical and vocational conditions which might make a husband unsavoury to his wife and entitle her to force him to release her. Thus they said, if a man suffered from scabs, 2 or polypus (causing an evil smell from the nose), or were a scavenger (a collector of dog-dung), or a copper-smelter, or a tanner, he might be compelled to release his wife, even if she knew of his condition or occupation before marriage; because "she thought she could put up with it, and ultimately came to the conclusion that she could not." 3
This reason for justifying the enforcement of divorce upon the man in such circumstances is singularly wise and humane, because it takes account of the point I made above, that, even if an unsavoury feature may at first be overlooked, it is almost always detected and disliked in the long run.
The old Romans seem also to have been aware of the danger of the unsavoury factor in mating, for, addressing men, Ovid says: "Let your teeth be clear of rust. . . . Do not let your nails project, and let them be free of dirt. . . . Let not the breath of your mouth be sour and unpleasing, nor let the lord and master of the herd offend the nose." 4 And to women he says: "Why should I enjoin that no laziness leave the teeth to darken and that hands should be washed with water in the morning?" 5 He also recommends lovers who wish to be cured of love to dwell on their mate's bodily blemishes, 6 and even goes so far as to hint that they may subject themselves to the most "unsavoury" experience of all in order to overcome their love. 7
These passages can leave no one in any doubt that Ovid at
1 TAL., Kethuboth 75a.
2 The German word is GRINDBEHAFTETER, which, I take it, means a sufferer from scabs. Van de Velde says one of the four grounds entitling a Moslem woman to divorce is "when her husband is an Akbar, i.e. when he suffers from bad breath, or purulent rhinitis, or ozna (stink-nose)." I.M., p. 27.
3 TAL., Kethuboth, 77a.
4 ARTIS AMATORIÆ (trans. as before). Book I, 515522.
5 Ibid., Book III, 197198.
6 REMEDIORUM AMORIS 417.
7 Ibid., 437438. I must leave the reader who does not know this passage to imagine what Ovid actually recommends.
One of the reasons given by Manu why a man of a higher caste should not drink the moisture of a Sudra woman's lips is that her breath is tainted, 1 and in the enumeration of the desirable wife's characteristics, the ANANGA-RANGA mentions clean teeth. 2 Manu also condemns marriage with a girl with "red eyes", by which he appears to mean "conjunctivitis". 3 This, again, he does obviously because of the "unsavouriness" of such a condition.
There can be little doubt that, in all the instances given, the object of the warnings or prohibitions against unsavoury features in the mate was, on the one hand, to avoid that too rapid wearing down of desire, ending in total aversion, which unsavouriness causes, and, on the other, to secure to the mates that ecstatic joy in physical union which is possible only in the case of two thoroughly savoury people. 4 I have no doubt myself that even the custom of shaving the body which prevailed among the ancient Egyptians, the Greeks, the orientals of the past and of to-day, and the Europeans of the sixteenth century, 5 had a similar object in view. For, in hot climates especially, and where bathing facilities are not easily accessible, the hair on the various parts of the body may become offensive in a very short space of time.
There is a strong feeling, especially among most young women,
1 L.M., III, 19.
2 A.R., Chap. VIII.
3 L.M., III, 8.
4 Balzac appears to have known the danger of unsavouriness in marriage; for he mentions a divorce in the Abergavenny family, in which a valet testified to the fact that the Countess A. had felt such repugnance towards anything belonging to the Earl, that he had often seen her burn little scraps of paper touched by the Earl while in her room. (P.M., p. 388.)
5 The canon in modern sculpture and painting forbidding the representation of pubic hair in the female is wholly due to the ancient Greek's dislike of pubic hair in woman, although he liked it in man. The custom was for women to pull out this hair or singe it, using a lamp or hot ashes for the purpose. LYSISTRATA 827 (trans. by Ch. Zévort, Paris) certainly suggests that a lamp was commonly used. Cæsar's DE BELLO GALLICO (trans. by H. S. Edwards, London, 1917, V, 4) tells us that the Britons shaved "every part of their body save the head and upper lip." There is evidence of the removal of pubic hair by women, at least in France, in the sixteenth century, in MOYEN DE PARVENIR, Chap. XLII. Regarding this custom in Samoa, see Dr. A. Krämer: DIE SAMOA INSELN, II, p. 63; and among the negroes N.E., p. 22. As to Egypt, see G. Rawlinson's trans. of Herodotus (II, 37) with footnote, and Wilkinson (op. cit., II. p. 331). Other peoples besides the Greeks represented the female in sculpture bereft of pubic hair. See, for instance, the marvellous statuettes of 3000 B.C. discovered in ancient Harappa, India. As regards ancient Jews, see TAL. MOED QATAN 9b.
Katharine B. Davis speaks of a woman who liked a man for his "clean appearance", 1 and I do not doubt that this girl too was thinking of what I call "savouriness".
Many girls have told me that for this reason they avoid dark men. They think fair men look "cleaner", meaning "more savoury".
This may account for the fact stated but not completely explained by Havelock Ellis that the majority of husbands are fair. 2 He says this is due to the possession by fair men in a higher degree than by dark men of the qualities that insure success in life.
But surely the factor of savouriness also plays a part here, even if the greater certainty of finding it in the fair man may be wholly imaginary.
Be this as it may, the importance of insisting on savouriness in the mate cannot be too strongly emphasized, and it has long been a source of astonishment to me that nobody besides myself appears, in the modern literature on sex and marriage, to have called attention to this essential accompaniment of health and beauty. 3
With regard to the second additional and essential attribute of beauty, which I and others have called "lustre," it is a quality partaking both of fire and brilliance. It vanishes in middle age, it vanishes even from young people with ill-health, and it is absent from young people whose constitutions, diet, general living conditions or spirits are poor. It is a sort of plus of life. In animals we call it "good fettle," while in human beings it is felt as an internal ardour or glow which somehow penetrates to the surface and emits a radiance. It is not only a plus of life, it is also a plus of beauty. It makes even men and girls who are
1 F.I.L.T., p. 33.
2 S.P.S., IV, p. 203.
3 For further details see my W.V., pp. 8788. For extreme care of the body and teeth, and their cleanliness in negroes, see N.E., pp. 37, 38.
Thus we have seen that beauty, if it is to be the object of the best and safest choice in marriage, must have two essential accompaniments savouriness and lustre. And since objective beauty should imply health, harmony and symmetry, we have a group of qualities associated with the highest beauty which provides the optimum of conditions for a sound and happy mating.
In relation to sex attraction and mating, however, the health, harmony, symmetry, savouriness and lustre, which combine to produce the total effect of beauty, must not be thought of as apart from youth, particularly in the female. Also, whereas there can be no real beauty without these five qualities, the latter can and do occur separately without beauty. A plain young woman, for instance, can have lustre, and savouriness. And a handsome old woman can have symmetry and harmony of morphological characters. Age, however, whether handsome or not, very rarely has lustre and savouriness. So that, in regard to mating, we must suppose all the qualities enumerated to come together in a youthful person in order to produce a. really desirable beauty. But more of this question of youth and beauty anon.
In Chapter I, I called attention to the many difficulties in the way of safely selecting a mate at sight from among our hopelessly differentiated and random-bred fellows. I pointed out that to rely on instinct here is entirely illusory; for, apart from the "genetic and homogamic instincts," there can now be no such innate force impelling us by predestined affinity towards one particular adult out of the millions in these islands. I showed, on the contrary, that most matings are a matter of mere chance
The claim sometimes heard that somebody has found the best possible mate in the world, is, therefore, the most extravagant nonsense; for even if it could be shown that the whole of the eligible population of a small town had been passed in review before choosing, it could hardly be maintained that the whole of the eligible population of a large city or country not to mention the world had thus been inspected.
Nevertheless, in spite of all the baffling differentiation of types, of degrees of morbidity and of desirability, and the absence of reliable instinct, complicated by a corruption of taste through false values and morbid artificially-conditioned reflexes, there remains in many people, even after two thousand years of Christianity, a sort of flair for sensual happiness, which, as Stendhal has said, manifests itself in a vague quest of beauty. And when such people think they have seen this particular beauty which promises them sexual or sensual happiness, they often say they have fallen in love at first sight, and place enough reliance on their reactions to stake their whole life upon their choice.
Shakespeare seems to have thought that everyone behaved in this way when he asked: "Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?" 1 Schopenhauer held the view that deep attachments arise in this way, for he said: "As a rule great passionate loves are kindled at first sight." 2
Byron, speaking of more general relations with his fellows than that of love, and referring apparently to both men and women, said: "I have ever found that those I liked longest and best, I took to at first sight." 3
Many make a similar claim, and it may well be that in some of us there remains, in spite of unhealthy values, corrupt doctrine, and the loss of infallible instinct and of a fool-proof environment in mating, a vestige of the old healthy sub-conscious guidance in this matter.
1 AS YOU LIKE IT, III, v.
2 W.W.V., II, Chap. 44. Victor Hugo appears to have held the same view. I.M., p. 43.
3 LIFE AND LETTERS, by Thomas Moore (London, 1901). Letter, 2.4.1823.
The fact that, when we are directed to beauty we are, as a rule, orientated to what is desirable in body and mind, makes the instinct for beauty exceedingly precious. And there is no doubt that many still possess this direction and that it aids them in finding health. For even if consciously they concentrate on health alone, they are usually drawn to beauty provided that their eye knows enough about health,
According to Mantegazza it is surprising what the average untutored male and female do know about health, 2 and if Mantegazza is right, which I doubt, it means that thousands of years of habituation have planted in us a key to desirability, which still lingers feebly on, despite corrupt reflexes and values.
Even Mantegazza would admit, however, that there is a whole range of possible diseases and taints which ignorance would either pass over, or, having detected, might treat lightly.
But where ignorance would be prone to go most seriously wrong would be in the case of hereditary taints and diseases not generally known as such.
For example, consider the diseases and disabilities which are known as "sex-linked," i.e. associated with one particular sex, though transmitted by the other. Such diseases usually affect only the male and are transmitted by the female.
Among the more distressing of them are, colour-blindness, hæmophilia, myopia, muscular atrophy, Leber's disease or optic atrophy, 3 multiple sclerosis, etc. 4
It is possible to be ignorant not only of the fact that an attractive girl may be the carrier of one of these diseases, but also of the. significance of the occurrence of one of these diseases in one or more of the males of her family. Indeed, she may have no male relatives alive at the time of a man's courting her, in which case she and her sisters may both remain in honest ignorance of her liability to transmit one of the diseases in question, unless an examination of her family history reveals the taint.
1 B.M., 309. In highly-Christianized England and America this is unfortunately not always true, because the people tend to associate beauty with undesirability.
2 P.E., pp. 266267.
3 See an article on THE INHERITANCE OF BLINDNESS (LANCET, 22.7.1933, pp. 191192).
4 R.H., p. 88. According to an investigation recently conducted in Philadelphia "between 3 to 4 per cent males show gross congenital colour blindness, and, if minor detects are included the proportion must be higher." (LANCET, 4.3.1933, p. 483).
This makes it all the more important that a man and woman should know their mate's stock before committing themselves; but it also points to the need of some rigid convention or law, compelling people to reveal as much as they can of their family history, and if possible to be medically examined before marriage. I cannot attempt to reproduce here the long list of diseases and physical disabilities which, without being sex-linked, are nevertheless hereditary. 1 But an enumeration of a few of the more distressing and more common among them will suffice to show that their number is formidable.
Myopia. "Short sight" say the learned authors of HUMAN HEREDITY, "never arises in the absence of hereditary disposition," and "short sight is recessive." 2
Detachment of the retina. A disease causing total blindness in the eye it affects. 3
Hypermetropia. (Long sight.) 4
Astigmatism. (Irregularity of the cornea, leading to partial and localized distortion or blurring of the visual image.) 5
Strabismus. (Squint.) "The hereditary factors which induce squint would seem to be mainly recessive." 6
Nystagmus. (Hereditary tremor of the eyes.) This "occurs not only as an accompaniment of albinism, but also as an independent anomaly." 7
Ptosis. (Inability to lift the upper eyelid.) 8
Ophthalmoplegia. (" Hereditary paralysis of all the muscles of the eye, so that the organ cannot be moved.") 9
Blepharitis Citiaris. (Chronic inflammation of the margins of the eyelids) "which is likewise a family complaint." 10
Corneal opacity. (May be hereditary.) 11
1 See M.L., p. 318, where Dr. Crew says, in effect, that there are some five hundred different defects and derangements "showing a significant orderliness in their appearance among related individuals." See also O.I.I.M., pp. 134144.
2 B.F.L., p. 229. Dr. Lenz also tells us (M.A.R., p. 13) that over 25 per cent of all adults now suffer from short sight. Also Sir Arthur Keith (op. cit., p. 867): "150 per 1000 suffer from a degree of myopia which prevents them from seeing distant objects clearly."
3 B.F.L., p. 233.
5 Ibid., p. 234.
6 Ibid., pp. 235236.
7 Ibid., p. 238.
9 Ibid., p. 240.
Ectopia lentis. (Congenital displacement of the lens.) This has several times been traced through four generations. 2
Cataract. (Opacity of lens.) This hereditary ailment "is extremely important, both on account of the gravity of the resulting disturbance of sight and on account of its frequency." 3 Congenital cataract is among the most important causes of congenital blindness. Among 1300 blind persons, 111 (nearly 10 per cent) were found to owe their affliction to congenital cataract. 4
N.B. The learned authors calculate that one fourth of all young blind persons are born blind, and congenital blindness is almost always due to some hereditary taint. 5
Glaucoma. (An increase in the intra-ocular tension, which has a deleterious affect upon the optic nerve and its ramifications in the retina. It causes ever increasing loss of sight.) 6
Optic neuritis and optic nerve atrophy. Frequently cause blindness, and are notoriously hereditary. 7
Retinitis Pigmentosa. (Hereditarily determined atrophy of the retina.) Accounts for nearly 4 per cent of all cases of total blindness. 8
Deaf-mutism. Of the 50,000 deaf-mutes in Germany, a quarter or a third of that number owe their infirmity to morbid heredity. 9
Xeroderma Pigmentosum. (An extremely malignant skin disease). 10
Hereditary Trophoderma or Elephantiasis Arabum. (Known as hereditary chronic dema of the legs.) 11
Hereditary Ichthyosis. (A disease in which the surface of the skin is covered with more or less dense scales or bony flakes.) 12
Hyperidrosis. (Excessive secretion of sweat, referred to above in section on "savouriness.") 13
Furunculosis. (Constitutional liability to boils. According to Wetz, heredity plays an important part in this disease.) 14
Polydactyly or dactylism. (Supernumerary fingers.) 15
Syndactylism. (Two or more fingers grown together.) 16
2 Ibid., p. 241.
3 Ibid., p. 242.
4 Ibid., p. 245.
7 Ibid., p. 247.
8 Ibid., p. 248. For much additional matter on eyes, see E.R., XXV, No. 3, Oct. 1933, pp. 167169. Also H.I.M,, pp. 73102.
9 B.F.L., p. 262, 264.
10 Ibid., p. 271. See also for skin characters and diseases, H.I.M., pp. 122137.
11 B.F.L., p. 276.
12 Ibid., pp. 276278.
13 Ibid., p. 279.
14 Ibid., p. 280.
15 Ibid., p. 287.
16 Ibid., p. 289.
Brachydactylism. (Fingers abnormally short, or lacking one phalange.) 2
Pes Varus. (Club foot, in which the soles look towards each other.) 3
Pes Planus. (Flat foot.) 4
Congenital dislocation of the hip. 5
Hypospadias. (A malformation of the male external genital organ.) 6
Rickets. (Although food, sunlight and exercise play an important part in the etiology of this disease, there are grounds for supposing that it may depend to some extent on hereditary disposition.) 7
Goitre. (Chiefly a woman's disease.) 8
Diabetes, Obesity, Gout, Asthma, Pernicious anæmia, Albuminaria, etc. 9
As I pointed out above, this list of hereditary diseases and defects is by no means complete. It does not even include Syphilis, one of the most potent causes of general constitutional derangements, and also of specific diseases. 10 It is, however, long enough and covers a sufficiently wide range to convince the reader of the importance of caution, if not of expert advice or control, in the choice of a mate.
For, although among the diseases and defects enumerated, many are visible and obvious, not every lay person is in a position to judge of the importance even of an obvious and visible defect.
As an instance of this I may cite ptosis. Dr. J. S. Manson, discussing hereditary diseases and malformations, mentions the case of a man with epicanthus and ptosis, a condition which causes such a constant and harassing shortening and narrowing of the palpebral fissure, 11 that the sufferer has constantly to throw his
1 Ibid., p. 290.
2 Ibid. Ruggles Gates says this is always inherited as a Mendelian dominant. (H I.M.) See also his example of brachyphalangy in LANCET, 28.1.33, p. 194.
3 B.F.L., p. 293.
4 Ibid., 294.
5 Ibid., p. 296. See supra, p. 141.
6 Ibid., p. 298.
7 B.F.L, p. 333.
8 Ibid., pp. 336338.
9 Ibid., pp. 357389. For hereditary anatomical abnormalities, see H.I.M, pp. 140182.
10 For a list of deformities and defects caused in children by syphilis, see S.P.W., p. 129.
11 The opening of the eye between the lids.
In a portrait group of the family we see the mother, a good-looking normal woman, and four children, only one of whom has escaped the affliction. Two daughters and a son have it, and they can be seen hopelessly disfigured, and already straining and miserably throwing their heads back to get a view of the photographer.
In addition to displaying abominable taste in the choice of a mate, the mother doubtless married in ignorance of the gravity of her husband's affliction. She may even have argued that, since "he could not help it," she would be heartless to withhold her love from him, never thinking that to refuse to be heartless to one fellow-being, who was a possible mate, would ultimately lead her to being heartless to three other human beings. Thus her shallow sentimentality and Socraticism led to three creatures being born whose affliction will be a constant source of annoyance and shame to themselves, and of irritation and depression to others; while, if the disease is latent in the only one who is free from the detect and all of them marry, a distressing and ugly breed will become perpetuated. This is a good example of how present pity can be cruel to posterity. I could give other instances of girls knowingly and out of compassion marrying sufferers from retinits pigmentosa, deaf-mutism, diabetes, and other hereditary diseases. But the principle is made sufficiently clear by the example given.
Dr. Manson gives other interesting records of families with hereditary digital deformities, hereditary sarcoma, hereditary spastic paraplegia (a form of congenital paralysis), deaf-mutism, ichthyosis, albinism, hare-lip and cleft-palate, spina bifida, dwarfism, family suicide, and hereditary icterus. 2
Now it seems perfectly clear that if, even in those cases where the affliction is visible, expert advice or control is necessary, it
1 OBSERVATIONS ON HUMAN HEREDITY (London, 1928, p. 58).
2 Ibid., pp. 371. As to spina bifida, this is a congenital osseous defect of the spine leading to hydrorhachis, "in which a gap is left" in the course of development, "in the neural canal at its lower end; usually the arches of the lumbar vertebræ are deficient, and the fluid that surrounds the spinal cord bulges out in its membranes, producing a soft tumour under the skin at the lower part of the back." (E.B. Edit., 1911, XVIII, "Monster"). Regarding dwarfism, see also H.I.M., p. 55.
All this points very forcibly to three constant needs in the preliminaries of mating: (a) The need of having a thorough knowledge of the mate; (b) the need of supplementing this knowledge if possible by a medical report; and (c) the need of knowing the mate's stock.
Many ancient legislators have emphasized one or more of these needs.
Manu, for instance, insisted on all blemishes being declared before marriage, and certain penalties were inflicted when this was not done. 1
According to ancient Jewish law, "If some previously unknown defect was found in the wife after marriage, she was to be divorced without receiving her marriage settlement," and "people with an hereditary taint in the family were discouraged from marrying." 2
According to old Icelandic law, the giver in marriage was obliged to hand over the bride "free from all physical blemishes," 3 while the Burmese law compelled the father of the bride to call the bridegroom's attention to any blemishes in the maiden, and the marriage contract was cancelled if important defects had been concealed at the time of the betrothal. 4
There are many difficulties in the way of establishing conventions or introducing legislation to make similar practices prevail in England. The bulk of the population has wandered so far from the pre-Socratic biological attitude towards man, that it is questionable whether any reforms aiming at the eugenic control of marriage would be understood, much less tolerated.
This, however, does not make the need of these reforms any the less urgent on the contrary, it never was more urgent; more especially as we have reached such a degree of unscrupulousness in respect of the rights of posterity, that even where ideas of a eugenic nature may be dawning in one of the parties to the match, everything is done to conceal from that party any taint that may be present in the family of the other for fear of wrecking the engagement. This is done repeatedly, and whereas a man or girl might scruple to withhold damaging information from an
1 L.M., VIII, 8.
2 T.J.C., p. 44. On the whole question, see TAL., Kethuboth, 72b and 75a.
3 D.W., II, p. 229.
Dr. Georges Schreiber claims that this is a frequent occurrence, at least in France. And he proceeds to recommend the issue of medical certificates of "fitness to marry." 1
Dr. Fritz Lenz is also in favour of this innovation. He says: "We should aim at procuring ever more and more pre-marital medical consultations." 2 And Dr. Abraham Stone, after advocating the same preliminary investigation, adds: "Generally, it seems advisable that the physician conducting the consultation should obtain from the applicants a complete family and personal history, should give them a general physical examination with special attention to the reproductive organs, and should advise and instruct them according to the findings and their needs." 3
Nor should a family examination be confined only to its existing members. It was Sir William Aitkin's maxim, "that a family history including less than three generations is useless and may be misleading." 4
Dr. Van de Velde, also in favour of pre-nuptial medical consultations, thinks that the difficulty of a direct appeal for a medical certificate from a girl or a man might be circumvented by each urging the other to get "a medical examination for life-insurance." 5 But whereas a girl and her family might thus obtain information about the prospective husband, it is so unusual, at least at present, for wives to have their lives insured, that the request from a man that his fiancee should be insured would certainly arouse the gravest suspicions in the girl's family.
Another solution would be legally to enforce the production of a medical certificate of "fitness to marry" before any marriage licence could be granted. By making the law apply to everybody and by imposing certain conditions regarding family history, in addition to individual certification, much good might be done. But my own impression is that legislative measures of this kind, desirable as they may be, will do little good until the spirit and taste of the people in general become more biological and more
1 EUGÉNIQUE ET SÉLÉCTION (Paris, 1922, pp. 171173).
2 M.A.R., p. 464.
3 THE PRE-MARITAL CONSULTATION (S.R.C., p. 31).
4 D.C.S.R., p. 86. Dr. Stone emphasizes the importance of sexual normality for married bliss (op. cit., p. 35) And says the inquiry should enter into the sex-life of the individual the extent and frequency of auto-eroticism, of previous sex-experience, of sex-libido and potency" (op. cit., p. 32).
5 S.H.I.M., pp. 189-199.
Nevertheless, other Christian nations and one non-Christian nation have done a good deal towards experimenting with such legislation in spite of the unreadiness of the mass of the people for such measures.
In Germany, for instance, even in pre-Nazi days, the marriage of people infected with venereal disease was indirectly prevented by the law which made the damaging of another's health through venereal infection an indictable offence. 1 In Sweden, Norway, 2 Denmark and Turkey, venereal sufferers are forbidden to marry, while in Norway and Sweden, since 1915, marriage has also been forbidden to people with mental disease, the feeble-minded and epileptics. Similar restrictions have been in force in Denmark since 1921. Mexico's laws restricting marriage on various eugenic grounds date from 1926. There are also kindred regulations in Russia. As, however, in that country a rather loose form of marriage is allowed in addition to the registered marriages, the effect of the provision is nullified. Switzerland has apparently long had services and regulations in operation, by means of which people with hereditary constitutional and mental taints have, without fear of perpetuating their diseased strains, been enabled to marry after sterilization, and Professor Hans Maier affirms that this work has been rendered relatively easy owing to the high civil and legal ideals of the nation. 3
In the United States of America seventeen states have passed certain partially eugenic or sanitary laws. According to Bernard C. Roboff, venereal disease is a bar to mating in Alabama, Michigan, New York, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington, Indiana, and Pennsylvania 4; and to this list Dr. V. C. Pedersen, writing seven years later than Roboff, adds New Jersey, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Wyoming, Louisiana, Utah, and Maine. 5 According to Roboff, however, only
1 M.A.R., p. 256.
2 In Norway, a certificate of health is demanded before marriage. In Turkey, since 1921, past V.D. sufferers are obliged to be medically examined before marriage.
3 E.R., XXV, No. 3, Oct., 1933.
4 THE "EUGENIC" MARRIAGE LAWS OF WISCONSIN, MICHIGAN AND INDIANA (Social Hygiene, 1920, p. 227).
5 THE WOMAN A MAN MARRIES (London, 1929, p. 256).
Roboff also declares that in Indiana and Pennsylvania "any transmissible disease" disqualifies a person for marriage, while Dr. Pedersen adds that Utah makes marriages between sufferers from venereal disease void, 1 and "in Maine it is a misdemeanour for persons suffering from syphilis to marry." 2
These are all steps in the right direction.
When, however, with Mr. Roboff and Dr. Lenz, we examine the working of these laws and regulations, we see how difficult and often hopeless it is to impose on a people by legislation an attitude which, if their taste and outlook were saner and healthier, they would gladly and enthusiastically adopt.
Mr. Roboff makes it abundantly clear that all the above regulations and laws in the U.S.A. not only lead to every kind of abuse, but also actually create industries for fraudulently or otherwise circumventing them.
For instance, so long as a neighbouring state will grant to couples facilities denied them by their native state, a short railway journey suffices to defeat the law.
The failure to include the female as well as the male in the provisions also tends to make most of the measures as good as useless. 3
The connivance of unprincipled physicians or lawyers in helping couples to defeat the law has created a regular traffic among low-grade professional men, much as the abortion and compensation laws have done over here. 4
Nor is this all; for both Roboff and Dr. Lenz point to many
1 He says (op. cit., pp. 256257), "existing venereal disease at the time of marriage is a ground for annulment of marriage in all States by Statute Law and by Common Law."
2 Op. cit., p. 256. Roboff says, in Dakota this "applies only to males." But while in the rest both sexes are included, Alabama and Wisconsin do not require females to be examined. Dr. Lenz says (M.A.R., p. 257) the North Dakota, 1913, law forbids marriage to anyone suffering from feeblemindedness, epilepsy, mental disease, drunkenness, acute pulmonary T.B., and habitual criminal propensities.
3 On this point see also Dr. Lenz (M.A.R., p. 256257).
4 Roboff, op. cit., pp. 230, 254. See also STERILIZATION IN PRACTICE, by C B. S. Hobson, F.C.S. (E.R., XXI, pp. 3540), where the author emphasizes "the importance of slow and careful education for the efficient working of eugenic laws," the value of working on a voluntary basis, and the desirability of keeping before the public as a whole the real object of the laws, namely (1) "the safeguarding of posterity", and (2) "the lightening of the present burden of misery."
Dr. Lenz, for instance, complains that few people who airily recommend the practice of demanding pre-nuptial certificates of health, have any notion of the elaborate and tiresome process that a thorough medical examination means, if, that is to say, freedom from certain diseases is to be positively determined. "It would," he says, "be not only extremely distressing to young women, but also very trying to the man." 1 Another difficulty he mentions is the practice among the poorer classes both in rural and urban districts in all nations of having sexual intercourse and actually procreating offspring before marriage. Among these classes marriage is often only decided upon when a child is on the way. 2 If, therefore, he says, certificates of health were exigible before marriage for the sake of the children, it would become necessary to forbid all extra-matrimonial intercourse as some states in North America have actually done. But this plan he wisely dismisses as impracticable. 3 Like Roboff, Dr. Lenz also calls attention to the difficulty likely to arise from the quarter of disreputable medical men, for even the respectable ones would be inclined to favour good clients, 4 while there is also the trouble threatening from the discouragement of matrimony (in an unenlightened nation devoid of a eugenic conscience) if marriage became obstructed by irksome and embarrassing preliminaries. 5
For my purpose, however, enough has now been said on this subject to enable the reader to conclude that, even in this country where trips to another state to evade the law would be difficult, and where professional honour stands generally high, the introduction of laws to impose sanitary mating presents an enormous number of serious problems, and unless the hearty and spontaneous co-operation of the whole people can be counted on, as apparently it can in enlightened Switzerland 6 which would mean a profound change of heart and mind on their part, and their adoption of the pre-Socratic biological attitude towards Man it is hopeless to contemplate the framing of laws for the protection and improvement of posterity. 7
1 M.A.R., p. 256.
2 In Saxony, according to Dr. Hamel, 70 per cent of the first-born are procreated before marriage of parents. (J.A.M.A., 21.9.29.)
3 M.A.R., pp. 260261.
4 Ibid., 264267.
5 Ibid, 260.
6 See p. 209 supra.
7 Dr. Lenz tends to this view too (M.A.R., p. 264).
(1) That the couple about to marry should be healthy and desirable as prospective parents. (This has to be medically established.)
(2) That the refunding of the loan in four instalments is subject to the following conditions: that one instalment, equal to one quarter of the total loan, be remitted for every healthy child born, so that if four healthy children are born to the couple, their whole debt to the State is cancelled. (The health of the children has also to be established medically.)
There has been no time or opportunity to observe the practical working of these measures, but the facts and observations, quoted above from Roboff and Dr. Lenz, are sufficient to show that, desirable as a check on dysgenic mating may be in this country, and comparatively simple as legislation against the marriage of extreme and acute cases may prove, great care and wisdom will have to be exercised in devising and applying sanitary laws which are to affect all indiscriminately, and much propaganda work will be required in order to induce the nation to co-operate heartily with the competent authorities in supporting the regulations and preventing their circumvention by fraud and misrepresentation.
For the time being, therefore, the problem of sound choice must remain largely a matter of individual taste, individual inclination, individual inquiry, and individual effort. As, however, the perilous inadequacy of the average layman's equipment in respect of expert knowledge can never be wholly compensated for by miscellaneous instruction and reading, the ideal should be, as soon as possible, by means of educative methods and propaganda, to prepare the nation as a whole to acquiesce in measures
1 On Eugenic Legislation in Germany, see E.R., XXV, No. 3, pp. 179181, and an interesting article in the LANCET, 3.6.33.
My own view is that this medical assistance should hardly ever be required to go beyond confidential advice. For, if only everyone took care to mate with his like, and, if possible, within his own family, and if the elimination of human rubbish at birth could become an accepted and universal practice, human stocks would in a few generations become so completely purged of morbid factors, that we in Europe would become as independent of expert medicine and surgery as the animal in his natural state.
But the reforms and propaganda needed to establish consanguineous mating as a routine practice, and to render infanticide acceptable in the case of biological inferiority, represent a far more formidable task than the introduction of compulsory medical certification before marriage, and it is probable that, in the present state of the public mind, the latter will, as a temporary measure at least, have to precede the former.
For one or two generations to come, therefore, young people are likely to be thrown upon their own unaided resources in the choice of a mate, and it behoves them to learn as much as possible, not only about the visible man and woman, but also about the inferences which can be drawn concerning the invisible from the visible.
Moreover, since it is certain that even after pre-nuptial medical advice and certification has become a routine procedure, people of both sexes will still depend for the initial steps of choice upon individual taste and discrimination, it is hardly conceivable that there will ever come a time when individual knowledge in these matters will be superfluous so long as the population in any country remains highly differentiated both as to type and disease.
We have arrived scientifically at certain definite generalizations and have seen that the principal rules derived therefrom cannot be broken with impunity.
These rules are:
(a) That like should mate with like.
(b) That ugliness is the visible expression of morbidity (certainly of the individual and probably, but not necessarily, of his' stock).
(c) That beauty, with its essential accompaniments, is the visible expression of health and desirability (in the individual as a
"But," says the reader, "if we are to avoid ugliness and pursue beauty, what remains of the rule of like to like? Will not the ugly, in accordance with these findings, necessarily pursue the beautiful?"
Probably; but implicit in the rules there are definite bars to such matings.
Rule (a) should thwart the success of the ugly who pursue beauty. Crosses between ugly and good-looking stocks should be difficult to achieve; but, unfortunately, they are far from always being so. Rule (a) really does no more than reinforce a natural instinct that has been corrupted by false doctrine. While rules (b) and (c) show the danger to which higher stocks are exposed if they fail to follow that natural instinct.
Rule (b) by isolating and segregating the ugly and morbid, reduces them to mating with their like which is what is required.
Rule (c) by encouraging the pursuit of beauty gives to the desirable a conscious confirmation of their dormant and often corrupted instinct to pursue their like at all costs. When once the cogency of the case in favour of beauty is grasped, it is hardly likely to be ignored by any member of a stock possessing something of value to be preserved. But we must always bear in mind that both men and women of a marked masochistic type of mind, will be inclined to actions involving some personal suffering or loss, and that in such people the desire to mate with someone inferior (someone who will debase them) may be very strong. This state of mind, which may ultimately lead to suicide in face of the most trifling adversity, may express itself in semi or partial suicide (in the sacrifice of one's stock, one's family, one's dynasty or line) in the prime of life. It is hopeless to expect such people to shun either ugliness or even disease in mating. But, fortunately masochists of this morbid type are not plentiful.
So far, however, beauty and ugliness have been discussed only in general terms. It is now incumbent upon me, without yet differentiating between male and female beauty, to amplify, along scientific lines, the ideas and forms connected with human ugliness, by enumerating those characteristics of a human face or figure, which make beauty impossible. The list is by no means complete, and includes only those more important and striking anomalies which can occur in either sex.
To begin with, it may be regarded as an invariable rule that,
Secondly, it may generally be assumed that any face in which one principal feature alone, such as the eyes, or nose, or mouth, is ugly, can never be a beautiful face, no matter how glorious the rest of it may be. In such cases and, unfortunately, they form the majority of the so-called good-looking people in our random-bred populations to-day a disappointing approximation to great beauty is achieved, which is all the more depressing for its terrible failure to attain harmony and unity.
Thirdly, it may be taken as a general rule that any marked disproportion of features or limbs, or what Kretschmer calls "dysplasia," makes a mask or body grotesque, badly grown, in fact, ugly; fourthly, that any abnormality, whether of the face or limbs or trunk, conflicts with beauty; and fifthly, that any marked departure from a standard, whether of height, or breadth, or merely muscular development, makes beauty impossible. I shall now elaborate the last three points by detailed illustration, the reader being requested to bear in mind that all the following characteristics are destructive of beauty and, therefore, suspicious.
(1) Noses too small for the rest of the face.
(2) Noses very much too large for the rest of the face. Here, however, the size must be such as definitely to suggest caricature; for we have to remember the old and very sound French physiognomical proverb, that a large nose never spoils a fine face; i.e. in a mask that is already fine, a large nose is not a disfigurement. 1 This seems to be a proverb which applies more to men than to women, as the former seem to be able to remain wholly good-looking with noses of a size which would mar a woman's mask. 2
1 Jamais grand nez ne gâta beau visage.
2 A sexual factor may exist here, because of the popular association of a big nose with large external genitalia. Havelock Ellis says this "has been verified occasionally in recent times", and hints that the Romans believed in it (S.P.S., IV, p. 67). But probably the well-known humanity of people with large noses accounts for their popularity.
(4) Noses depressed at the roots and bridgeless. (See Chins (1).) This, of course, applies only to communities in which European ideals of beauty prevail. 1
(5) Noses with nostrils too small or narrow for proper breathing.
(6) Lumpy or asymmetrical noses, which acquire surprising shapes at different angles.
(7) Noses with a concave curve. See reservation to No. 4.
(8) Noses coming to a snub or unduly sharp point at the end of a concave curve. See reservation to No. 4.
(9) Noses in which the wings of the nostrils descend noticeably below the septum. This is a horrible feature and will impart a villainous expression to the otherwise finest face.
(1) Undue prognathism, i.e. disturbing prominence of either the upper or lower jaw, so that the former projects in a manner which makes the latter disappear in the neck, or the latter projects in a way that gives the face a brutal ape-like expression. This becomes terrifying if accompanied by a nose depressed at the root; and if, furthermore, there is malocclusion of teeth, the expression is wholly bestial.
In cases of acromegaly (i.e. where growth of spongy bone of the face continues actively after maturity) 2 this asymmetry is due to a disease, a tumour in the pituitary gland. But where no acromegaly is suspected, it is a definite asymmetry, and an objectionable congenital defect.
Pronounced prognathism, whether of the Bull-dog or Bill Sykes type, should not, however, be confounded with a strong, well-built prominent jaw, which in a man, particularly, is becoming. I shall have more to say about this later. 3
1 The horror aroused in a humane Frenchman of the eighteenth century by a bridgeless nose is seen in Montesquieu's plea for not sympathizing with the negro slaves: "Ceux dont il s'agit sont noirs depuis les pieds jusqu'à la tête, et ils ont le nez si écrasé qu'il est presque impossible de les plaindre." (ESPRIT DES LOIS, Book XV, Chap. V.)
2 A rare disease.
3 Draper connects an unusually large width of lower jaw with a tendency to pernicious anæmia (D.M., p. 75), and a wide angle at point of jaw with ulcer (gastric and duodenal), and a square or nearer to a right-angle jaw with gall-bladder diseases (D.M., p. 79).
(3) Marked smallness of lower jaw. For some reason this is more tolerable in the female than in the male; but it is ugly in both. It is the March Hare type, associated with Kretschmer's asthenic schizophrene.
(4) Any asymmetry of the lower jaw which causes the point of the chin to diverge noticeably from the median line of the face.
(1) Microcephaly: head too small for body. Beyond a certain point this is usually associated with deep degeneracy and mental defect. Vico, Malebranche, and Clement VI are said to have been microcephalic, but to have been saved from imbecility because they fractured their skulls in infancy. 1
(2) Macrocephaly: head too large for body. Is usually accompanied by generally defective development of the osseous system. But it may be a form of hydrocephaly (water on the brain).
(3) Plagiocephaly: wry head. Very disfiguring.
(4) Scaphocephaly: keel or boat-shaped head; klinocephaly: saddle head; acrocephaly or oxycephaly: sugar-loaf head; tapeisocephaly: low head; leptocephaly: narrow head; platycephaly: flat head, etc. All are equally bad and destructive of beauty.
(5) Any lumps or bumps on the cranium which indicate eccentric growth. Most of such malformations, together with the above, are due to a premature or abnormal soudure of the sutures.
(1) Excessive hair on face. When the hair invades usually hairless parts of the mask, like weeds growing over a pavement a characteristic associated by Kretschmer with schizophrenia (of which more anon) 2 it is very ugly, particularly when, as is
1 D.C.S.R., p. 168. Also B.F.L., p. 602. According to Bayerthal, "when the circumference of the head is less than 52 cm. we hardly ever find that there are any noteworthy mental achievements, and when the circumference of the head falls below 50.5 cm. the intelligence is no longer normal. Genius is out of the question in persons the circumference of whose head is less than 56 cm."
2 P.C., pp. 58, 59. See pp. 280281 infra.
(2) The little vortex formed by the hair of the head may be very much left or right of the median line, i.e. close to one of the ears, or too low, or too high. This is offensive and is apparently common in degenerates. Unfortunately it cannot usually be detected in women.
(3) Kretschmer declares that a defective development of pubic or armpit hair is "always to be considered a dysplastic abnormality." Absence of visible hairiness of legs in adult age is also a dysplastic abnormality according to him. 1 See also section on Skin and Part II for more details about hair.
(1) Too small a mouth.
(2) Too large a mouth. ((2) is more tolerable than (1) for reasons which will be given when male and female characters are differentiated).
(3) A mouth too heavily Upped. This is ugly only when European ideals of beauty prevail.
(4) A mouth with no lips.
(5) Harelip. This is often accompanied by cleft palate. It is supposed to be hereditary, 2 and is a sign of arrested development of a ftal part. (See pp. 232, 233 infra.)
(6) Conspicuously long teeth.
(7) Conspicuously small teeth. This is usually associated with so-called "gap-teeth" in which there are ugly gaps between the teeth.
(8) Crowded teeth 3 Nos. (6), (7), and (8) are the outcome of disharmonies in inheritance of jaw and teeth from disparate parents. There may be malocclusion in all these cases.
I would add:
(9) A noticeably wet mouth with glistening lips.
(10) False teeth. As regards this characteristic, which, in a
1 P.C. p. 55.
2 Talbot says (D.C.S.R., p. 200), it is "an exceedingly hereditary disorder", and adduces various authorities. Dr. Lenz (B.F.L., p. 301) confirms Talbot.
3 Draper connects dental irregularity with sufferers from acute rheumatic fever (D.M, p. 93).
(11) Upper lip too short.
(12) Upper lip too long. (12) is more tolerable in the male.
(13) Projecting teeth.
The ears are the site of many irregularities and malformations, all of which, however, are not ugly. The following are ugly:
(1) The helix may be angular. (Common, but often unnoticed by unobservant people).
(2) The helix may be absent at the top of the pinna, so that the car is flat from the anti-helix to the upper extremity of the pinna. This is very common and very ugly.
(3) The root of the helix may extend inwards across the concha.
(4) The anti-helix may be too prominent or insignificant.
(5) The scaphoid fossa may extend through the lobe. This is common to-day.
(6) The lobe, or lobule, may adhere to the neck or be absent, as in apes and monkeys. 1
(7) The whole ear may be too small or too large for the head. 2
(8) One ear may be noticeably smaller than the other.
1 A. F. Chamberlain: THE CHILD (London, 1909, p. 222) mentions this as an example of atavism or reversion, and says: "It is rarest in white races; more common in some of the lower races, idiots, cagots; normal in apes."
2 Draper associates very long ears in the male, together with other facial characters, with prostate trouble.
(10) One ear or both may stand at a wide angle to the head.
(11) The ears may differ in height. 1
(12) There may be small tubercles at various points in the ear, at the tragus, at the anti-tragus, on the upper crest of the helix, on the root of the helix, on the lower curve of the helix.
In women all these blemishes may be concealed by the method of wearing the hair. These tubercles, reminiscent of the ftal ear, appear to be due to arrested development.
Ears projecting from the head are regarded by Talbot and others as an almost constant stigma of degeneracy of some sort. 2 They are certainly very ugly, especially as ears which stand out at an angle of from 45 degrees to 90 degrees to the head, are usually loose and badly formed.
(13) The ears should be pink to pale red, but never white. 3 When they are white, anæmia from what cause soever may be inferred.
(1) The eyes may be noticeably unequal in size.
(2) The eye-balls may project (pop-eyes). This may or may not be the sign of exophthalmic goitre. It is very ugly. Exophthalmic goitre is, according to Dr. W. H. C. Romanis "more common in women than in men, in blondes than in brunettes, and in single women than in married ones." It seems to favour certain callings, particularly that of the school teacher; is rarely seen at the extremes of life (i.e. under 15 or over 55), and it is associated with a type of woman "who is volatile, lively and temperamental, and who, if the disease is not too far advanced [by which Dr. Romanis means, presumably, if it has not yet made the sufferer ugly], is usually of a type distinctly attractive to the male." 4
(3) The eye-balls may be sunk into the orbital cavity, and lie hidden under the orbital arches, giving their owner a sickly or wild appearance. 5
1 D.C.S.R., p. 183. "Frequently, in the degenerate classes, the cars of the same individual differ as much as an inch in height."
2 D.C.S.R., p. 218. See, however, Kretschmer (P.C, p. 39).
3 D.S.W.K., p. 190.
4 OBSERVATIONS ON EXOPHTHALMIC GOITRE (B.M.J., 2.1.33, pp. 8790).
5 Draper says this is often associated with diabetes (D.M., p. 92). This I have personally confirmed on more than one occasion.
(5) The eyes may be too close never so intolerably ugly as 4. 2
(6) The palpebral fissure may be too narrow. 3 This occurs in certain low-bred families and is hideous.
(7) Strabismus: divergent or convergent squint. Either ruins the best mask.
(8) Heterochromia: differently coloured irides (See p. 141 supra.)
(9) One eye lower than the other in the mask. Very common nowadays; but often passed unnoticed by eyes jaded as the result of contemplating all kinds of human monstrosities.
(10) Ptosis: drooping, flaccid upper lids and skin folds. (See pp. 205206 supra.)
(11) Heavy eyebrows meeting at the root of the nose are an ugly feature. They used to be associated with degeneracy. Kretschmer says the fault is frequently met with in his schizophrene types. 4
(12) I add the tendency to a slight outward squint, or outward cast, which, without apparently causing troubles of vision, imparts to the face a vague, equine look, usually associated with a character lacking powers of concentration, partiality and determination. (But more of this anon.) It is the cast of eye noticeable in Greuze's young women. In people who have not always had it, its appearance denotes waning health. In people hitherto possessed of the inward cast, I have seen the outward cast appear at the time of approaching death. It is seldom noticed, and the average person pays no attention to it, and often cannot see it when it is pointed out to him.
(13) The eyelashes should be even and regular. Sparse or irregularly-growing eyelashes indicate disease, especially scrofulitic inflammation of the eyes. 5
(14) Whites of eyes that are conspicuously blue. (See Note, page 228).
1 Draper associates this with pernicious anæmia (D.M., p. 87) and with sufferers from nephritis and hypertension (D.M., pp. 7376, 91). It is surely also a reversion, and may, therefore, correctly be classed as degenerate.
2 Draper finds this more often in T.B. cases than in the rest of the population (D.M., pp. 7376, 9697).
3 Draper finds this also may occur in consumptives (D.M., pp. 9697). It is one of the features implied on p. 215 supra, in regard to ugliness as the result of "meanness" on the part of Nature.
4 P.C., p. 59.
5 D.S.W.K., p. 186.
Hands and Nails
(1) Syndactyly: webbed fingers, or fingers grown together. This is hereditary, as already pointed out.
(2) Polydactyly: supernumerary fingers; also hereditary.
(3) Marked disproportion of fingers and palm, particularly marked shortness of the former.
(4) Marked shortness of the little finger, so that it curls almost like a little toe. 1
(5) Smallness of thumb. This is hideous and always a bad sign, particularly in a man. People of no character or principles have these offensively small thumbs. It is a regressive and therefore certainly a degenerate trait, because the long thumb is the feature which differentiates the human hand most completely from the ape's hand. 2
(6) Stumpy, dwarfed nails, particularly in the thumb, are very ugly, and are generally associated with brutality and low-breeding. I have noticed this feature among a particularly low-bred French peasant type.
(7) The nails of a mate should also be observed for imperfections of growth and surface, as these may indicate morbid bodily conditions. Dr. Samuel S. Hanflig, in a study of 294 tuberculous patients over a period of six months, found pitting most common, and more frequently in the nails of the index and ring fingers. Out of 130 male cases, with active tuberculosis, pitting occurred in 77 per cent. 3
Dr. Hanflig also found marked curving in 61.5 per cent. No curving was found in 38.5 per cent. In the group of female cases, 41.9 per cent with a good prognosis, 56.3 per cent with a fair prognosis, and 67.5 per cent with a poor prognosis, showed curving. 4
1 D.C.S.R., p. 266. "Fere is of opinion that shortening of all the fingers constitutes a grave mark of degeneracy." Also Dr. A. Macdonald (P.S.D., p. 13): "The shortness [of lingers] is more common in profound degeneracy."
2 C. F. Sonntag, M.D.: THE MORPHOLOGY AND EVOLUTION OF THE APES AND MAN (London, 1914, p. 90). "In man . . . the thumb has developed considerably and exceeds that of any ape in size and in function. The other parts of the hands have not undergone such striking transformations, however, as the thumb." Also A. F. Chamberlain (op. cit., p. 222), who mentions, among instances of reversion: "Great toe shorter than other toes: rare in white race, common in lower races of man, human embryo; normal in anthropoids." This is merely an anatomical parallel to the short thumb.
3 Draper observes that, whereas in the general population 49.8 per cent males and 48.4 per cent females show no lunulæ in their nails, lunulæ are absent in 66 per cent of male and 78.8 per cent of female consumptives. (D.M., p. 98.)
4 NAIL CHANGES IN TUBERCULOSIS (MED. PRESS, 8.2.33, p. 107, after NEW ENG.
(9) Furrowed and ridged nails indicate endocrine dysfunction of some kind.
(10) "Flattening and concavity of the nails, especially those of the index finger, mark those who are unstable physiologically and nervously." 2
(1) Greasy skin. This seborrhic condition, apart from its general unsavouriness, indicates in its possessor a flabby, mucous-secreting gastro-intestinal tract, and a poor resistance to infection of mucous membranes of the nose and throat. The person exhibiting it is likely to be subject to chronic infection of the lymphoid tissues and sinuses, to pyorrhea and gingivitis, soft teeth and caries. "His respiratory tract is often of similar type", and his nervous system lacks tone, as may be inferred from his circulation, behaviour and habits. 3
(2) Very dry, harsh skin, with dull, lustreless, brittle hair and furrowed nails are important indications of endocrine dysfunction. 4 (See 9 in previous section.)
(3) Hirsutism: extreme hairness of skin. In a woman this may point to some morbid condition, such as tumour or hyperplasia of the suprarenal cortex, 5 or ovarian tumours. 6 It is very
JOURN. OF MED.). Less recently in patients at the Trudeau Sanatorium (Ontario) Dr. A. G. Hahn found striking correlations between markings and form of finger nails and active T.B. Pitting occurred in every one of fifty patients with active T.B. and not in any of similar group of ex-patients and normal controls, and the pits appeared more often on the index and ring fingers. Hahn also found normal control group showed no incurvation of nails, though in 30 per cent of ex-patients, 50 per cent with inactive and 75 per cent with active T.B. had down-curving nails; he also found in the active T.B. group high incidence of cyanosis, in contrast to the other groups (cyanosis = blueness, as of a hand numb with cold.) J.A.M.A., 19.7.30. Article: "The Finger Nails in Tuberculosis."
1 Dr. J. I. Ingram, the LANCET, 22.4.35, p. 889. Microcytic as distinguished from macrocytic anæmia is explained in the MED. WORLD (14.7.33, pp. 396400). Briefly, it is of the simple variety, hypochromic, as opposed to pernicious anæmia. It is characterized partly by the red cells being smaller than the normal red cell hence the name. For a full account of the disease, see also J.A.M.A., 25.2.33, pp. 540548.
2 Ingram: THE PERSONALITY OF THE SKIN (LANCET, 22.4.33, p. 890).
3 Ibid., p. 889.
4 Ibid., p. 890.
5 J.A.M.A., 13.5.33, p. 1558.
6 B.M.J., 8.10.32, pp. 6162. Kretschmer tells us (P.C., p. 61) that "strong, straight growth of hair is often observed by physicians between the shoulder-blades in cases of asthenic phthisis, and to a certain extent has been taken as a direct stigma."
Any marked asymmetry of body and limbs is always a grave sign. It indicates serious disharmony in the invisible man, or highly differentiated stock, and is a warning of every imaginable trouble, endocrine and otherwise. 5
(1) Very long arms. This feature may be a reversion. The ape has much longer arms than man.
(2) Very long legs. This may indicate, besides disharmony (i.e. the inheritance only of the leg segment of body from a tall parent), eunuchoidism (of which more anon), and a degenerate, neurotic or consumptive tendency. 6 Kretschmer finds extreme length of extremities occurring among schizophrenic dysplastics. 7
(3) A very long neck. This is ugly and is associated by Draper with tuberculosis. He says the mean length in T.B. patients is 180 m.m., as compared with 170 m.m., which is the upper limit of the range for the general population (130170 m.m.). 8 It is the neck of Kretschmer's schizophrenic type, and it is curious that the Indians of the sixteenth century associated a long neck in a girl with a cruel and vicious temperament, 9 because Kretschmer associates occasional sadism with his schizophrenic type. 10
(4) A very short neck. This is almost uglier than 3. It may be merely apparently short, in which case it is due to bad posture. If it is genuinely short, it is usually also very large in girth. Draper associates it with gall-bladder disease. He says that in male members of this disease group, the mean neck girth is 12 m.m. greater than the upper limit of that measurement in the general population (340375 m.m.) 11 MacAuliffe connects it with hypothyroidism. 12 It is the neck which may be associated with Kretschmer's pyknic type.
1 P.S.D., p. 18.
2 D.O.M., pp. 601602.
3 P.C., p. 58.
4 T., p. 198.
5 Draper (D.M., p. 93) found among acute rheumatic fever cases "with unusual constancy, a definite tendency to physical asymmetry."
6 P.S.D., p. 11. Also Draper: D.M., p. 98.
7 P.C., p. 67.
8 D.M., pp. 65, 9697.
9 A.R., p. 123.
10 P.C., p. 89.
11 D.M., p. 65.
12 T., p. 195.
(6) The body may be very fat. Both in the young male and the young female this is always ugly and not a good sign. It usually indicates endocrine disturbances of some kind. 3 Dr. Louis Berman connects it with a subthyroid condition. 4 As Dr. Robert Hutchinson says: "Thin people are better lives than fat, for the more rotund the figure, the more rapidly does one roll down the hill of life." 5 Kretschmer says, "Individuals showing a tendency to pronounced fatness are altogether in the minority among schizophrenes", and he definitely connects the condition with his pyknic type. 6 I shall deal with this question again. For the moment let it suffice to say that, according to Talbot, obesity both in children and adults, is nearly always accompanied by some degenerate features. 7
(7) The whole body may be very long, lank and willowy. If the unusually tall person comes of medium-sized stock, this is a a disturbing feature. It indicates abnormal growth of long bones, possibly as a result of gonad insufficiency at puberty and later. But of this more anon. If it appears in a person belonging to a tall stock, like Harold's thegns or life-guardsmen at the Battle of Hastings, then, of course, it is quite normal. But in normal cases, tall stature is not usually accompanied by narrowness and weediness.
(8) The whole body may be dwarfed.
(9) The body may be fixed or set in bad postural habits stoops, rounded shoulders, visceroptosis (sagging belly), stiff straightening of shoulders with corresponding lordosis, curvature of spine (without T.B. or any other disease) and so on. All are very ugly.
1 Crew finds asthenia hereditary (M.L., p. 318) and says it is dominant.
2 T., pp. 198, 203.
3 See Dr. I. Geikie Cobb: OBESITY IN MAN (MED. PRESS, 30.11.32., pp. 448 et seq.) and Dr. Ethel Browning: OBESITY IN WOMEN (MED. PRESS, 23.11.32, pp. 427 et seq.). See also Dr. W. F. Christie, before the Harveian Soc., London. (LANCET, 19.4.30, pp. 394395.)
4 G.R.P., p. 248.
5 See his Purvis Oration on PROGNOSIS on 10.12.26. (LANCET, 1.1.27, p. 1.)
6 P.C., pp. 49 and 73.
7 D.C.S.R., pp. 289290. Crew includes corpulence among the hereditary defects (M.L., p. 318) and says it is dominant.
The foregoing list of the principal blemishes, which is by no means complete, is not intended as an enumeration of the more striking so-called "stigmata of degeneration", but as a means of clearing the ground for the more detailed discussion of beauty in Europeans as a whole and in man and woman in particular, in the last chapters.
It seemed necessary, before making any narrow and positive statements regarding beauty, to point out what constituted the principal factors in ugliness and undesirability. Nor has the number of blemishes been exhausted. For the above list, incomplete as it is, even as applied to both sexes, is, after all, an enumeration only of those blemishes which either sex may have. In Parts II and III, I have yet to consider the blemishes which may mar the beauty of a particular sex.
Almost all the bodily blemishes described above, and a good many besides, are emphatically declared by scientists like Lombroso, Dr. Talbot, Dr. Arthur Macdonald 2 and others, to
1 In view of following marriage, despite a permanent and horrible handicap, there is no telling what may happen nowadays: A woman of 40 with malignant disease of pharynx suffered ablation of the larynx, part of the pharynx, the cervical oesophagus, and much of the oesophagus also. After the operation, the surgeon was able to introduce the short end of a wide rubber tube into the upper pharynx. This tube was secured in the neck by tapes, and connected by a long rubber tube to the opening near the stomach, thus producing an external rubber oesophagus. The device functioned well, and as there was no recurrence of illness, the patient married shortly after the operation! The tubes are taken out regularly and boiled, and by wearing appropriate dress the patient presents quite an ordinary appearance, though, of course, she has no voice (B.M.J., 23.2.33, p. 330). I could quote other cases including one in which marriage has been desired by a man with a woman who had congenital absence of vagina, and who died under an operation intended to provide her with an artificial vagina, the operation and its purpose having been known to the prospective bridegroom! (LANCET, 5.3.27, p. 492). The fact that such an operation sometimes succeeds, however, is seen from the B.M.J., 13.5.33, pp. 822823 and J.A.M.A., 7.6.30. Marriages are also contracted nowadays with women known to have undergone hysterectomy, etc. See also pp. 205206 supra.
2 See L'ANTHROPOLOGIE CRIMINELLE ET SES RÉCENTS PROGRES (Paris, 1891), and CRIMINAL MAN (London, 1911), and D.C.S.R. and P.S.D.
This point of view has, however, been successfully assailed by so many workers of repute and authority in recent years, that it is now no longer tenable. L. Stieda, for instance, pointed out as early as 1902 that most of the so-called "stigmata of degeneration" were no more than "ordinary variations". R. Sommer adduced a damaging case against the Italian school and its followers. He showed that three idiot brothers, who had inherited their cranial abnormalities from their mother, had inherited their criminal abnormalities from their father. "This," as Professor Bumke points out, "placed the whole lack of a sound critical attitude on the part of the Lombroso school in a proper light." 1 Moreover, Sommer and others were forced more and more to the conclusion that not only did congenital cases of mental defect occur in which no so-called "stigmata of degeneration" were present, but also, that these stigmata occurred without any signs or mental defect. 2
This left the advocates of the correlation between the stigmata and mental defect, or actual insanity, hopelessly without support in fact. But it is one thing to find no essential correlation between bodily blemishes and mental defect, and between absence of bodily blemishes and freedom from mental defect, and quite another to claim that bodily blemishes do not impair beauty, and that they are compatible with the same degree of general health as that found in persons in whom they are not present.
In the chapters on inbreeding we have seen that, mutations apart, disharmonies and disproportions, as well as aberrant and monstrous manifestations, are the product of mixed rather than of pure breeding. We have also seen that, although the seeds and causes of illness and dysfunction in mixed and random-bred stocks may be, and often are, invisible, they may be, and often are, brought about in such stocks as an almost inevitable feature owing to the actual results of random-breeding. Finally, we have seen that while science is beginning definitely to correlate beauty with health, ugliness is also beginning to be correlated with ill-health.
It is impossible, therefore, to dismiss the ugly features enumerated above as of no account; for, even if it could not be definitely shown that there is a demonstrable relation between
1 K.U.E., p. 42.
We should also be careful to avoid the error of the Lombroso school in lumping all the so-called "stigmata of degeneration" together as equally indicative of degeneration of some kind or other. There is, for instance, obviously a difference of degree between a slightly eccentric growth of one member of the ear, which may be merely a harmless variation, as Stieda says, and conspicuous disharmonies and disproportions in the build of the face and body, which point to independently inherited characters from disparate parents, and from which similar invisible disharmonies may be inferred. Whereas no reasonable man would deny the validity of Stieda's objection in regard to the first case, he would hardly accept it in regard to the second. After what the reader has been told in Chapters II and III, therefore, it is hoped that he may be in a position to appreciate that while all stigmata are not equally grave, and while some may be dismissed as insignificant except in so far as they affect beauty, others are not to be passed over so lightly, and are definitely to be classed as warnings of deep-seated morbidity.
Moreover, even so ruthless and searching a critic of the Lombroso school as Professor Bumke is bound to acknowledge that "clinical experiences teach us that the stigmata degenerationis certainly do appear somewhat more often among the insane, the psychopaths and people of criminal character than among healthy and honest men", and if "they also appear among some healthy, and are absent in some very acutely insane people" 1 it simply leads us to ask:
(a) What is the standard of health in such investigations?
(b) Can sub-acute disorders (which play the most important part in the average life) be detected in such investigations, and are they reckoned with?
(c) Why, seeing that inheritance of characters visible and invisible, is largely independent, is it necessarily assumed in our
1 Ibid., p. 45. See also B.P.L., where Lenz on the so-called stigmata degenerationis says: "There can be no doubt, in the light of our present knowledge, that a good many such characters can actually be recognized, "and he mentions, among other things, too narrow chest measurements, microcephaly, bluish-grey tinge of the sclerotic (white of the eye) indicating osteopsathyrosis, or brittleness of the bones. See, on the latter, H.I.M., p. 89 et seq. Ruggles Gates refers to sufferers from this taint as "blue sclerotics" i.e. having blueness of white of eye.
And (d) Why in these same random-bred stocks an apparently healthy individual, revealing external stigmata, should, without further inquiry, be classed as healthy?
Our Rose-among-Thorns rule would at least have protected investigators from this hasty conclusion. Was it applied in the case of these alleged "healthy" people with the so-called "stigmata of degeneration" upon them?
In innumerable instances, dysfunction begins to make itself felt only by slight and often imperceptible disorders, lasting sometimes years. Before it presents a clinical picture with recognizable outlines, it may have had a long history. Are disorders which do not present a definite clinical picture ever taken into account by investigators? Can they be?
There are all kinds of degrees of debility, and, what is more, there must be, and we know there are, internal as well as external stigmata of biological inferiority. The fact that the external stigmata alone can be reckoned with in the living subject certainly makes the dogmatic attitude on the part of Lombroso and his disciples very ridiculous, but does it not also invalidate much of the criticism that has been levelled against them?
All this does not mean that I wish to assume the extreme position of the Italian school and its English and American followers, and to infer rigidly, from external blemishes, that all kinds of insane or criminal propensities are present. Because I do not believe in an invariable connexion between many of the so-called "stigmata of degeneration" and mental diseases, etc.
What it does mean, however, and all that it does mean, is that except where I have definitely connected biological inferiority with a particular blemish, as in constitutional fatness, muscular atrophy, etc. (and I shall show other undeniable connexions of the kind when I discuss man and woman separately), and except where I have adduced other reasons for regarding any blemish whatsoever as grave, I have called attention to these blemishes only in order that the reader may be at least suspicious of those who bear them 1 (so that if he sees other odd or disquieting
1 Dr. A. C. Magian, for instance, gives a list of defects and physiognomical traits found connected with hereditary syphilis (see S.P.W., p. 130). It may be untrue to claim that such deformities are always associated with some morbid hereditary taint as serious as syphilis; but the fact that a doctor of Magian's wide experience has found them so associated ought at least to satisfy us that they are, to put it moderately, suspicious, and that it is better, in mating, to avoid those who exhibit them. See p. 205 supra.
One word more before I proceed to give more ample data concerning human morphology.
I emphatically associate myself with Kretschmer against the Lombroso school, in denying that, except in a few cases, there are any stigmata of criminality classifiable as such.
"The criminal can have no ear-flaps which belong only to him," says Kretschmer; 1 and every sane man must agree. 2
To a sympathetic and understanding observer of mankind, it must be obvious that there are as many great men who have failed by a fluke or accident to be criminals, as there are criminals who have similarly failed to be great men. And to draw a hard and fast line vertically and horizontally between types, and say that criminality lies in one group, and greatness and normality in the other, is pure delusion.
What would Bottomley have been or done had he been rich? On the other hand, with his acknowledged youthful tendency to deception and falsehood, 3 what would Darwin have been or done had he been wretchedly poor? Which of us who believes that an author cannot create a character tout d'une piece without possessing some of it in himself, doubts that the catalogue of criminals in the mythology of Dickens points to a strain of so-called criminality in Dickens himself? And who can think of Napoleon, Frederick the Great, Henry VIII, Cromwell or Castlereagh, without feeling what magnificent criminals they would have made, had they had less luck? Bismarck is alleged actually to have said
1 P.C, p. 39.
1 See JOURN. OF EXPERIM. PSYCHOLOGY (X, No. 2 April, 1927, pp. 117157) where G. J. Mohr and Ralph H. Gundlich, in THE RELATION BETWEEN PHYSIQUE AND PERFORMANCE, found among 89 convicts confirmation of Kretschmer's theory of types, but no differentiations of criminals from the rest of the population. See also Dr. C. Goring: THE ENGLISH CRIMINAL (abridged ed., London, 1919, p. 71), "The average association between physical characters and crime, if existent, is microscopical in extent." Also Ibid., p. 73: "If there is any real association between physical character and crime, this is so microscopical in amount as not to be revealed by the measured values we have obtained." Dr. Goring certainly found (pp. 111122) that "all English criminals, with the exception of those technically convicted of fraud, are markedly differentiated from the rest of the population in stature and body weight," but he concludes, "it is to the influence of selection only that the differentiation of criminals in stature and weight must be attributed," i.e. not to any inherent relation between criminality and low stature and weight. See also p. 78 supra.
2 See AUTOBIOGRAPHY (Watts ed., p. 3).
As I have already pointed out above, the whole distinction between criminality and respectability as being respectively degenerate and regenerate, 2 with its implication of bourgeois snobbery in Lombroso's laborious attempts at establishing a morphological or biological criminal class, reeks of the subjective and Puritanical outlook on humanity the wish to see repulsiveness where you are morally repelled and is not worthy of a moments serious consideration. If the majority of crimes committed in civilized society were breaches of Nature's laws, the segregation of criminals as a biological variety might have some sense. But seeing that crime is very often, in fact, in most cases, 3 merely a breach of convention or man-made law, it is as absurd to regard the criminal as necessarily biologically inferior as to regard a cannibal as necessarily so. Thus, crime does not reveal biological inferiority, although it may reveal social inferiority; and, seeing that it may be and often is pursued out of sheer delight in risks which respectable employment in modern civilization cannot provide, 4 it may actually denote a plus of spirit, courage, independence, and masculinity.
Again, however, this does not mean that I am denying any connexion between a certain low-bred type and a peculiar form of crime for instance, the mental degenerate guilty of indecent assaults on children, or the masculoid female who engages in a peculiarly low form of prostitution all I deny is that the love or choice of a life of crime, when it is associated with mal-adaptation, need necessarily be connected any more definitely with so-called stigmata of degeneration than with extreme personal beauty and biological superiority.
A new and disquieting agency in regard to bodily blemishes still requires to be discussed. It is that of modern medicine and surgery.
I have implied all along that wise and eugenic selection in mating must to a great extent depend upon the unaided efforts
1 G.M. p. 16.
2 See p. 78 supra.
3 Dr. Goring says (op. cit., p. 121) thieves and burglars constitute 90 per cent of all English criminals.
4 See report of a lecture given 2.3.33 by Claud Mullins to the Friends of the Institute of Med. Psychology, in which he is alleged to have said: "Many criminals offend because they like it," and to have added that "some are so bored that they like crime" (LANCET, 11.3.33, pp. 538 539). This confirms what I have said, p. 78 supra.
It is for this reason that the greatest amount of information possible, concerning human morphology, both morbid and healthy, should be placed quickly and authoritatively at the disposal of young people. Quite apart from the fact that it is a grossly neglected department of knowledge, and that therefore the information is long overdue, the danger is, and has been, that where sound information fails, superstition, popular error, and sentimentality are likely to replace it.
If, however, the eye and knowledge of the young are to be their principal guide in this all-important matter of selection, it is surely regrettable that medicine and surgery should now be adding to their many other dysgenic activities by concentrating, particularly in the department of plastic or cosmetic surgery, and endocrine correction, on eliminating or covering up the warning signals Nature gives of a morbid or otherwise undesirable organism or stock.
I will give a few examples, though many could be quoted.
It is now an accepted practice, in the deformity of hare-lip, to supersede the efforts of the old surgery (which consisted merely in sewing together the cleft tissues of the upper lip and causing them to unite) by grafting tissue upon the deformity so as to obliterate its most characteristic contours and traces. The old operation while mending the breach, left marked evidences of its existence. The present removes these evidences of its existence. In describing his own methods of achieving this end, Sir Harold Gillies says: "The surgeon should be able to employ the secondary procedures here described to free his patient entirely from any vestige of hare-lip stigma." 1 And if we turn to some of the photographs of "before" and "after" operation, which illustrate Sir Harold's text, we are impressed by the marvellous success of his methods.
Now it may be true that the sufferer from hare-lip is a hard case. But, as that wise old legal saw asserts, "Hard cases make bad law." And if we are constantly to view humanity, not from
1 LANCET. Hare-lip: Operations for the correction of secondary deformities (4.12.33, pp. 13691365).
Hare-lip is a hereditary deformity. 1 It is not everybody who is indifferent whether or not he has a child with hare-lip. But, if we are to obliterate all traces of it in the individual, how is the careful potential parent to select?
But plastic surgery does not stop at deformities; it extends its activities to unæsthetic physiognomies ugly features which may and usually do convey an important message to the observer, and by modifying which surgery connives at an act of gross morphological deception. Recently (i.e. in the autumn of 1932) a Congress of Æsthetic Surgery was held in Paris. And among other communications, a surgeon named Lagarde showed how, if you please, he corrected a pendulous mamma "by introducing an artificial suspensory ligament made of a trifurcate reindeer tendon." 2 For æsthetic corrections of the nose he recommended "auto-grafts derived from the parts of the nasal skeleton of the patient." 3 Other surgeons illustrated methods equally surprising and destructive of the valid message of the features and the physique of man. 4
Elsewhere we can read of how prognathism may be corrected, and the procedure has recently been so much perfected that the old orthodontic correction which "consisted of the removal of a portion of the body of the mandible, or a section through the lower part of the ramus opposite the last molar tooth, permitting a backward slide of the body of the bone," has now given place to an operation which consists in constructing "an additional joint in the condyloid process with, or without, supplementary orthodontic treatment," and which promises to supplant the former types of jaw re-sections, with all the risks and disadvantages they involved. 5
1 See p. 218 supra. See also John C. Dacosta: MODERN SURGERY (London, 1931, p. 840) where or hare-lip he says: "Hereditary tendencies play an important part in the etiology. Carefully investigated histories in our series showed other cases of some degree in over 50 per cent of the families."
2 J.A.M.A., 10.12.32, pp. 20442045.
4 A quarterly journal, LA REVUE DE CHIRURGIE PLASTIQUE, devoted wholly to this speciality, is now actually being published in France (LANCET, 24.12.32, p. 1397).
5 J.A.M.A., 3.12.32, pp. 19171919. In KOSMETISCHEN OPERATIONEN, by Dr. Ernst Eitner (Vienna, 1932) the great range of this branch of surgery may be seen. Operations are therein described not only for actual deformities, but also for natural though unsightly defects, from wrinkles and pendulous breasts and abdomens to knock-knees! (J.A.M.A., 10.12.32, pp. 20572058).
The reader will think of false teeth and wonder whether this correction of a serious defect should also be condemned. But surely false teeth deceive no one. Everybody should be able to tell at a glance, or at least at a second, third or fourth glance, whether teeth are false or natural, and familiarity should dispel all possible doubt. In plastic and cosmetic surgery, however, a definite and often hereditary stigma or ugly character is covered up or obliterated without necessarily leaving any trace. This is a hard case leading to a law and a morphological fraud, by which the whole may be and often is sacrificed for the self-esteem or comfort of the part.
In medicine, the discovery of insulin and of other synthetic endocrine secretions, has created a problem not only for the prospective spouse of a sufferer from endocrine defect, but actually for the State. And to-day numbers of children, kept alive by insulin, survive into adult-hood, who would formerly necessarily have been eliminated.
Dr. Kirsten Toverud, for instance, has pointed out that insulin "has produced an entirely new problem as far as the diabetic child is concerned." In the old days, "he just died after an illness whose average duration was only 26 years." Now, every year there is a fresh crop of diabetic children who are able to reach "healthy" adult life if properly cared for. "Even in such a small country as Norway the ranks of the diabetic child are being recruited by between 200 and 300 newcomers every nine years!" 2 What must the figures be for England! 3
1 Prognathism is mentioned among the hereditary defects by Crew (M.L., 318) who says it is dominant. This adverse criticism of prognathism applies only to Europeans and those who share their taste. This taste has been formed by an ancient predilection in favour of an orthognathous face i.e. one with a verticle profile.
2 See DIABETES IN SCANDINAVIA (LANCET, 15.10.32, p. 876).
3 I searched in vain for statistics. It appears to be included among the "digestive disorders." In any case, reports on the health of the school child would relate
It is difficult to concede that medicine is really performing a public service in this matter.
only to the class attending Council and State-supported schools. They would not cover the whole population.
1 See p. 205 supra. See also M.L., p. 318, where Crew mentions it among the hereditary diseases and adds that it is dominant.