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THE SAVAGE ORIGIN OF TATTOOING.
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THE SAVAGE ORIGIN OF TATTOOING.
By Prof. CESARE LOMBROSO.

I HAVE been told that the fashion of tattooing the arm exists among women of prominence in London society. The taste for this style is not a good indication of the refinement and delicacy of the English ladies: first, it indicates an inferior sensitiveness, for one has to be obtuse to pain to submit to this wholly savage operation without any other object than the gratification of vanity; and it is contrary to progress, for all exaggerations of dress are atavistic. Simplicity in ornamentation and clothing and uniformity are an advance gained during these last centuries by the virile sex, by man, and constitute a superiority in him over woman, who has to spend for dress an enormous amount of time and money, without gaining any real advantage, even to her beauty. But it is not desirable that so inordinate an accession to ornamentation as tattooing would be should be adopted; for an observation I have made on more than 5,000 criminals has demonstrated to me that this custom is held in too great honor among them. Thus, while out of 2,739 soldiers I have found tattoo marks only among 1·2 per cent, always limited to the arms and the breast; among 5,348 criminals, 667 were tattooed, or ten per cent of the adults and 3·9 per cent of the minors, Baer recently observed tattooing among two per cent of German criminals and 9·5 per cent of soldiers (Der Verbrecher, 1893).

Characteristics of Criminal Tattooing: Vengeance.—The minute study of the various signs adopted by malefactors shows us not only that they sometimes have a strange frequency, but often also a special stamp. A criminal whom I studied had on his breast between two poniards the fierce threat Je jure de me venger (I swear to avenge myself). He was an old Piedmontese sailor, who had killed and stolen for vengeance. A recidivistic thief wore on his breast the inscription, Malheur a moi! quelle sera ma fin? (Woe to me! what will be my end?)—lugubrious words, reminding us of those which Filippe, strangler of public women, had traced on his right arm, long before his con-