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occurring many years ago. I only introduce went about the matter in a way that apreference to it here because I am reminded proaches our systematic bibliographies, and that in defense of the quite undeniable fact he took good care to save the reader from the there was advanced an explanation which weariness of continual textual indications of sometimes, in less flagrant cases, has to be the sources of his astounding statements. seriously considered. The culprit when con- Any story, however good, any lesson, however victed pleaded that he had imbibed the valuable, any humor, however infectious it author's ideas from lectures he had heard otherwise would be, is apt to evaporate under him deliver and essays of his he had read, so less careful supervision. The literature of that when he came to write these uncon- the subject is what the rushed researcher tosciously flowed from his pen. This too is one day first skips, the details next and the “ of the implications of plagiarism, but alas! clusions,” least of all. The form of a modern in this particular instance it was a question research article at best is a grisly horror. I not of ideas—these were in no way notable do not know if the man has been born yet who but of two or three thousand words repeated can avoid bibliography, details and concluin the same sequence, certainly a monstrous sions, and yet have his essay stand forth in accomplishment for the subconscious. With

shining attractiveness in its exposition of this aspect of plagiarism I am not here con- original work in science. One sometimes cerned, as I am not writing on the under- wishes to be born again when that blessed lying causes of crime.

time is a reality. It is therefore hardly fair Where indeed shall we draw the line be- to group the conventional essay of modern tween a peccadillo and crime? At a not very science with real literature. The real masters remote period in the past there was no patent of science sometimes approach it; they very law, no copyright, far less any code punish- rarely indeed attain it. ing purloining even of words to say nothing But in order to pursue our inquiry into the of ideas. There seems only comparatively nature of plagiarisms, it is in general literarecently to have arisen a public opinion con- ture for the most part we must seek our illusdemning such transgressions. They trations. When Molière wrote his comedy once scarcely censurable. In the time of the “Le Médecin Malgré Lui," he put in the Renaissance there was an entir different mouth of his own characters the discourse, point of view. Their equivalent for research found in Rabelais, of Panurge, as to the man was then the digging up of buried treasure who had married a mute wife. It is not out of ancient literature. This was so uni

worth while to pursue the joke further backversal that it seemed a sort of affectation to ward, as

we shall find other illustrations be bringing in allusions to the derivation even easily enough, but those who saw Joe Jefferof transliterations from ancient authors, son play “Rip van Winkle" in Boucicault's forcing on the reader, as it were, the recogni- adaptation of Irving's tale will remember the tion that the writer was accurately and inti- soliloquy of Rip on the mountain as to the mately acquainted with ancient models. It

vision of a happy married life, excited by the was taken for granted of any idea or incident contemplation of the mute dwarfs he met that some Aristotle or Plato or Pliny had there. Petrarch furnished Molière with other originated or transmitted it. Why bore the

scenes, not the ideas alone but a considerable reader by continually reminding him of it? stretch of word for word translation. I have Indeed such impatience occasionally becomes traced this back, not quite so literally pervocal in the modern reader from this annoy- haps, to Pliny and evidently through him to ance. Among the ancient authors Pliny was Pindar. The ancient Greek legends reprethe only one who grouped his references in sent the complaint of Zeus finding practical separate bibliographical categories. He alone, executive attention in the smiting of Æscuso far as I know, in his “Natural History" lapius for transgressing the permissible limi


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tations of his art when he resurrected the it is also true that no one censures Molière dead. Later the complaint of Pliny and or Petrarch, or ever did censure them for Petrarch also was that the doctors took un- using ancient jokes and jibes as their own.2 ethical liberties with their opportunities. Now the thread that runs through the Pindar, Pliny, Petrarch, Molière, even Dr. stories of the effect wrought on the layman's Rabelais himself by inference, lash the doc- mind by comparing the ideas aroused by viewtors with the bitterest invectives for trans- ing for the first time other worlds than ours gressions, some of which we admit to-day are through the telescope is that which the daily committed against the ethics of the preacher seizes to emphasize the glory of God profession. It becomes stereotyped in Pliny, and the insignificance of man, whom he has Petrarch and Molière.

created. That has been dinged into the conWhether well done or badly done it is always

sciousness of countless generations of men, paid alike. . . . A shoemaker in making a pair of ever more insistently, as modern science has shoes can't spoil a piece of leather without paying made it more and more manifest. The sugfor it, but at this business when we spoil a man gestion of a parity becomes daily more groit does not cost us a cent.

tesque. This grotesqueness finds frequent Even Socrates has the same jibe put in his issue in words and it is not difficult to mouth by Plato, and to this Petrarch manages imagine that even the words are closely to allude, but to our unwritten modern ethical similar, when the humor of the thought standards it is all flagrant plagiarism. As strikes the same spot in the observer's mental to medicine much of this continual abuse machine. of it in ancient and modern satire is due to Let me take a more concrete example. the underlying vice in its social regulation. Does any one suppose that when Mark Twain It is the sole one of human activities wherein wrote the extremely amusing dialogue in Tom its practitioners are admonished, nay forced Sawyer Abroad between Nigger Jim and the so far as possible, to work directly against hero he was plagiarising Pliny? The former their own material interests. No punishment had a poor opinion of painters. One of them is too severe, if we could only get at him, was paintin' dat old brindle cow wid de for the criminal who tries to further his com- near horn gone-you knows de one I means. mercial interests by the unnecessary worry

. . He say when he git her painted de picand botheration to a patient, whom nature is tur's worth a hundred dollars. Mars Tom, he better able to treat than the doctor. Is there could a got de cow for fifteen." So Pliny's any doubt of the occasional justification for barbarian Gaul with the long hair, when at such complaint? What is there against the Rome was asked on his glancing at a masterother impostors of commerce? For them such piece of an old slave leaning on his staff conduct is ethical business. As for medical what he would give for it in cash. “I would men attempting to stimulate their business not give a farthing even for the slave "z by setting plagues agoing, that is unthinkable. his contemptuous reply. It is apparent that Indeed the evolution of public health preser- such a joke is always lying close to the survation is making daily more clear the face through all the ages since man made his anomaly of this age-long status of practi. drawings on the walls of the dark caves at tioners of medicine, and daily one sees more Altamira and that is the way with the joke or less abortive attempts in the direction of about the stars. change. Now the underlying cause of all Lawyers are always writing to the astronothis plagiarism in the satires and jibes against mers for knowledge of when the moon might the doctors is the broad one of maladjustment

2Ancient jibes at the doctors,New York of a certain social agency. It is the con- Medical Record, September 12, 1903. tinued protest of society, falling into fairly 3 Pliny, “Historia Naturalis," Liber XXXV., narrow channels of expression it is true, but 8 Ed., Silling, Vol. V., p. 211,


have revealed or when it could not hare re- devils, so it was also for false doctrine, vile vealed crime to the night-wandering witness. thoughts, evil emotions, pride, jealously, inThere is nothing remarkable that Lincoln justice. So early and so firmly bound toshould have cornered his witness as well as gether in this channel in all the languages of Alcibiades by a device that lay near the sur- modern civilized races became the association face ever since man became a sublunar biped. that “purge” still persists in them all as But neither is there anything remarkable, in- applied to mental and religious and legal deed I believe the biographies assert it as categories ages after the devils of disease had fact, that Lincoln in his youth was a reader disappeared from medicine, a quite grotesque of Plutarch's lives, possibly of Chamber's and absurd correlation between widely differBook of Days" too, where one can meet ent concepts in modern thought. One stares with the same tale. At any rate the stories with surprise, both in Pliny) and in Schoolalways amuse, when first met with, and crafts6 account of American Indians, at the wherever met with often instruct. They menstruating woman going around crops should not be suppressed by uncharitable naked at night to chase away the vermin charges of plagiarism, because it does not from the corn, or was it in both cases some seem worth while, even if the charge is cor- fertility rite that was observed and misinterrect, to spoil the story and wipe out its humor preted? We are scarcely less astonished to by the introduction of clumsy and pedantic find the plumed serpent in American aborigreferences.

inal religion more or less closely paralleling The interest in anthropological problems as that of the Asiatic. I do not know if any well as in those of ethnology is so specialized hooded snake may have existed or may still and within their own lines is so absorbing exist in America to account for this detail of that the light psychology might throw on them coincidence, very astonishing unless we think has been somewhat neglected—very much so of the same environmental influences in India until very recently. And yet Tylor's ground and America. We get no trace of the deadthought was that psychology plays a large liness of anything resembling that of the part in anthropology even if the human mind cobra as having ever moved the mind of man is everywhere ab initio of the same nature. in America to stand in awe before its power He, or some of his followers at least, are not and worship it. But whether the American even disposed to allow as much fundamental savage brought the plumed snake from eastern differentiation as they apply to the shape of Asia in medicine bundles across the Straits. the skull or that of the nose. However that of Behring or across the Pacific or whether may be they have compelled us to acknowledge his imagination created the coincidence, still that it reacts very much in the same way to we see two of the principles prominently assothe same environment and the same stimuli ciated with plagiarism here in this distant and this places us at once in view of the link, ethnological territory brought into play. One some may think rather tenuous, which at- is the persistance with which the mind moves taches ethnology to plagiarism. I hope with in channels once entered, the other is the the expansion I have given to that term, in promptness with which it enters those chanwhat has preceded, this is at least discernible. nels once it is placed in a certain environI tried once to show that, starting with prim- ment. I fancy this exemplification torn with itive man's idea of disease etiology, the

some violence from a foreign field is helpful demons of disease became those of heresy or in making us realize how the tendency to their first cousins, and inasmuch as a good plagiarism is one deeply, immutably rooted purge was a good way to get rid of disease

6 Pliny, Historia Naturalis," Liber XXVIII., 4 "The Demons of Heresy and the Demons of Ed. Sillig, Vol. IV., p. 277. Disease in the Processes of Thought," New York 6 Schoolcraft, Henry R., “ The Indian Tribes of Medical Journal, February 23, 1918.

the United States,” Part 5, p. 70.

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in the human mind and though some may be about improvement. There is a certain comdisposed to say this is nothing but another munity of interest among groups (anglers, word for original sin, I am sure most will commercial fishermen, sanitary engineers and rather be disposed to believe that a very large others) that are commonly conscious only of amount of the so-called plagiarism can be special interests, but as yet there has been no traced to sources quite outside the volitions unity of purpose, no concert of effort to serve and intentions of the transgressor.

a common interest. It is certain that the Noiwithstanding this, some may consider, accomplishment of the purpose of each group extremely charitable view which we should all is conditioned, not only upon public sympathy take when confronted with evidence that and support, but upon the cooperative service seems a little disconcerting at times, it be- of scientists representing biology, chemistry hooves us all, when we think we have a bright and physics, and engineers representing saninew idea, or a brand new joke, or a bit of new tation, hydrology and navigation. truth laboriously unearthed in research, to That the conference now called should be as search our inner consciousness as well as our constructive and practical as possible, it is environment for the origin of it. At any rate proposed to concentrate attention upon the worldly wisdom should teach us not too following principal topics: (1) the depletion rashly to forget the precaution of leaving the of fish and shellfish, its causes and possible way open for the claims of others which we remedies; (2) the preservation, value and may have unintentionally overlooked.

appropriate utilization of swamp and shore JONATHAN WRIGHT, M.D.

areas; (3) the organization of effort to secure an early beginning upon a constructive pro


It is believed that the conference may be SOURCES OF INTERIOR WATERS

most effective in accomplishing its ends if it As indicated by a recent preliminary an

be the occasion, not for a few special adnouncement, Hon. Herbert Hoover, secretary

dresses, but rather for informal and free disof Commerce, has called a conference at the

cussion from every point of view. It is proFisheries Biological Station, Fairport, Iowa, posed that on each day there shall be two June 8–10, 1921, for consideration of the

sessions, morning and afternoon, respectively, conservation of resources of interior waters.

with ample intervals between sessions for perActing under instructions from Mr. Hoover,

sonal interviews, demonstrations or recreation. the Committee on Organization and Plans has

Opportunity will be afforded in the evening prepared the following outline of the scope

for special meetings to disclose topics of and character of the conference.

interest to particular groups or to all. As no It is assumed that our water courses, our

talk is expected to exceed ten minutes, lakes and ponds not only should serve

opportunity is allowed for the most open disavenues of transportation, and channels for

cussion. Following is the outline of program: removal or reservoirs for storage of surplus

Wednesday, une 8. 10 A.M. and 2 P.M. surface drainage, but should also continue to

Subject: Depletion of aquatic resources, provide food and other necessities of life and

causes and remedial measures (including printo furnish the means of essential recreation. ciples rather than details of legislative proIt is evident that, with growth in population tection). Discussion from the standpoint of and with progressive industrial development,

the sportsman, the commercial fisherman, the the public waters are becoming decreasingly dealer or manufacturer, the biologist, the fishfit to serve these latter ends. It is important, culturist and the sanitary engineer. then, to ascertain if the decline in usefulness Wednesday evening is left open for special of the waters is inevitable, and, if it is not, topics arising in course of the discussion of to discover and apply the means of bringing the day.


Thursday, June 9. 10 A.M. and 1:30 P.M. rangements, in order that suitable reserva

Subject: The value of swamp and shore tions may be made for accommodations. areas and their utilization as fish and game


V. E. SHELFORD, preserves, for the cultivation of aquatic animals and plants, as reservoirs of food for

J. E. KROUSE, aquatic animals, and as nurseries for young


F. A. STROMSTER, fish. Consideration may also be given to the additional value of submerged lands in rela

R. L. BARNEY, tion to food control, forestry, agriculture and

Committee on Organization sanitation,

SCIENTIFIC EVENTS On Thursday evening there will be a special

THE AMERICAN ENGINEERING COUNCIL AND meeting for consideration of the opportunities

MR. HOOVER and needs of research stations.

THE American Engineering Council of the Friday, June 10. 10 A.M. and 2 P.M.

Federated American Engineering Societies met Subject: Organization of effort to deter

on April 16 at the Engineers Club of Philamine what plans of procedure may be im

delphia. Members attending were: Herbert mediately followed to further progress in con

Hoover, president; Calvert Townley, viceserving resources of interior waters.

president, representing A. I. E. E.; J. Parke The discussion may be from the points of

Channing, vice-president, representing A. I. view of cooperation in scientific research, the

M. M. E.; E. Ludlow, president A. I. M. training of men to prosecute investigations,

M. E.; F. J. Miller, past president A. S. M. E.; the education of the public, the reconciliation M. L. Cooke, Taylor Society; Wm. McClellan, of conflicting group interests, the union of A. I. E. E.; A. S. Dwight, A. I. M. M. E.; effort to secure adoption of appropriate con- A. M. Greene, A. S. M E., dean of the School servation measures, and the possibility of of Engineering, Troy Polytechnic Institute; periodic gatherings for promotion of har- S. H. McCrory, A. S. Agricultural Engineers; monious action.

W. W. Varney, Baltimore Engineers Club; Through the cordial cooperation of a local J. F. Oberlin, Cleveland Engineering Society; committee, special arrangements will be made O. H. Koch, Technical Club of Dallas; D. S. for utilization of the intervals between meet- Kimball, vice-president, dean of School of ings in interesting demonstrations pertaining Engineering, Cornell, A. S. M. E.; Gardner S. to the topics of the conference, in trips to

Williams, Engineering Society of Grand neighboring points of interest, or in other Rapids; C. F. Scott, A. I. E. E., School of means of diversion and recreation.

Engineering, Yale University; W. B. Powell, Throughout the conference meals will be

Buffalo Engineering Society; W. E. Rolfe, served at a small charge based upon actual

vice-president, Associated Engineering So

cieties, St. Louis; L. B. Stillwell, A. I. E. E.; cost in the dining room of the Biological

L. P. Alford, A. S. M. E.; H. W. Buck, past Station. Lodging without charge will be

president A. I. E. E.; E. S. Carman, A. S. available in the laboratory or in tents or

M. E., Cleveland; Philip N. Moore, A. I. M. other temporary quarters. The nearest hotels

M. E., Washington. are found in Muscatine, Iowa, a distance of 8

Mr. Hoover resigned the presidency, giving miles and Davenport 20 miles from Fairport.

as his reasons the fact that the American All persons expecting to attend are advised

Engineering Council by its constitution was to communicate in advance with R. L. Barney, necessarily engaged in furthering national Director of the Fisheries Biological Station, activities which involve legislation; and that Fairport, Iowa, or J. E. Krouse, Davenport, he as a member of the executive branch of the Iowa, Chairman, Local Committee on Ar- government could not consistently direct such

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