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An eminent actor, Mr. George Grossmith of London, narrating on the stage his impressions of the United States, remarked how seriously the average American takes his amusement, all the popular plays, music and songs being of a sad and melancholy nature. Not only must we plead guilty to this stricture of the genial and good-natured actor, coming as it does from a layman, but from the view-point of the medical man we must further admit that the physician of the present day does not need to be a profound student of the stigmata of degeneration to have noticed that the tendency to play is lacking in idiots of all classes, and that this defect is directly proportional to the degree of mental weakness. Since recent pathology has done much to throw light upon certain physiologic questions, the foregoing remarks would seem to furnish material for an obvious inference.
THE INDIVIDUAL AND PHYLOGENIC GOOD OF PLAY.. JAMA. 1897;XXIX(2):85-86. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440280037004