0
We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
JAMA 100 Years Ago |

HOW SUPERSTITIONS ARE REINFORCED.

JAMA. 2008;300(8):971. doi:10.1001/jama.300.8.971.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Extract

Every now and then a story appears in the newspapers that is apparently a striking confirmation of some one or other of the old superstitions that still cling to mankind. For the ordinary reader it is scarcely more than an out-of-the-way story. For those who have certain tendencies to believe superstitions and to be affected by them, such stories are often “confirmations strong as Holy Writ” of their peculiar notions. During the past few months a story regarding the number thirteen has been going the rounds with striking effect. It has been contradicted, categorically, but then contradictions never travel so fast or so far as the original story. The incident that forms the basis of the tale is taken from the biography of Sir John Millais, the English painter, and first appeared in the columns of M. A. P., Mr. T. P. O’Connor's London weekly, whose enigmatic title is translated into words as “Mostly About People.” According to the biographer, one day at dinner at Millais' house it was discovered that there were thirteen at table and one of the women diners was much disturbed. In order to reassure her, Mr. Matthew Arnold is said to have remarked: “Now the idea is that whoever leaves the table first will die within a year. With the permission of the ladies, then, we shall cheat fate for once. I and these fine strong lads,” pointing to two husky young fellows, “will all rise together and I think that our united constitutions will be able to stand the assault of the reaper.” According to the sequel of the story as told, Matthew Arnold died six months later, one of the young fellows committed suicide about the same time, and just within the year the third of the trio was drowned on the steamer Quetta off the coast of New Guinea.

Topics

Sign in

Create a free personal account to sign up for alerts, share articles, and more.

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview

Figures

Tables

References

Letters

CME
Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.

Multimedia

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign in

Create a free personal account to sign up for alerts, share articles, and more.

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Jobs
brightcove.createExperiences();