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May 6, 1905


JAMA. 1905;XLIV(18):1453. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02500450041007

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The old Greek proverb ran, "Count no man happy until his death." In the more modern time it has been said, "Judge no man absolutely until you have read his last book." For those who felt that, in spite of its formal legal punishment, Oscar Wilde's fall was due to mental rather than to moral torsion, to the manifestation of a mind diseased rather than of a will impatient of restraint and hopelessly malicious, his last book, "De Profundis," which he deliberately left to be published posthumously, will prove the confirmation of this impression. Most physicians who have followed his career must have realized that many of his actions were associated with delusions of grandeur, though the world looked on them as scarcely more than the exhibition of overweening vanity. One of the most striking passages in De Profundis is that in which Oscar Wilde sums up what he considers

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