Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/233

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

toward which the minds of women have worked for so many centuries in order to create and consolidate it: thus, if a woman, who though not wanting in chastity loses it easily, she must be more deeply abnormal than a woman who when exposed to great temptations forgets to respect other people's property. This fact is almost normal; the other being instead most abnormal. This is the reason that women who have become prostitutes by chance present many of the characteristics of those born with a natural tendency to prostitution; while female criminals who are almost normal have little in common with innate criminals, these last being a double exception from many points of view, and a sporadic monstrosity." The last chapters treat of insane, epileptic, and hysterical criminals.

This terrible but most necessary examination of criminal women occupies a large volume of six hundred and fifty pages. What remedy can be found? This is the subject of the second volume, which will soon appear, and in which Lombroso will speak of the different social importance of crime and prostitution, the two different forms of male and female crime. The present volume is largely illustrated by designs which serve as proofs of the data collected. It is most interesting to see the reproduction of the different types of female delinquents. As usual, Lombroso speaks with the true modesty of a scientific man.

"Not one line of this work," he writes, "justifies the many tyrannies of which women have been and are still the victims from the tabu, which forbids them to eat meat or to touch cocoanuts, up to that which prevents them learning or, still worse, carrying on a profession once they have learned it. These are cruel and overbearing practices by whose means we have certainly contributed to maintain and, what is worse, to increase the inferiority of woman, so as to be able to despoil her for our advantage, while hypocritically we were covering the docile victim with praises which we did not believe, and which were a preparation for fresh sacrifices rather than an ornament."

His love for his science he has again and again abundantly proved. It is deeply interesting to read the conclusion he himself draws from his labors a conclusion that "all who believe in woman and her future can but rejoice in."



Much suggestive work has recently been accomplished in the domain of chemistry, in the attempt to apply the principle of gravitation to account for the interactions of the molecules of the elements. "So far," says Prof. Reynolds, of the University of Dublin, "the fundamental hypothesis of 'Newtonian chemistry' has led to conclusions which are not at variance with the facts of the science, while it gives promise of help in obtaining a solution of the great problem of the nature of chemical action."