The criminal

The criminal

by Havelock Ellis
     
 

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Originally published in 1901. Author: Havelock Ellis Language: English Keywords: Psychology Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. Obscure Press are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and

Overview

Originally published in 1901. Author: Havelock Ellis Language: English Keywords: Psychology Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. Obscure Press are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940019622658
Publisher:
London, Walter Scott
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
816 KB

Read an Excerpt


CHAPTER IV. CRIMINAL ANTHROPOLOGY (PSYCHICAL). § i. Moral Insensibility. TlIE moral insensibility of the instinctive and habitual criminal, his lack of forethought, his absence of remorse, his cheerfulness, had been noted long before they were exhaustively studied by Despine. In the argot of French criminals, conscience is la muette, and to induce any one to lead a dishonest life is I'affranchir. This moral insensibility is, indeed, a commonplace of observation with all who have come in close contact with criminals. Gall remarked: " If criminals have remorse, it is that they have not committed more crimes, or that they have let themselves be caught." Dostoieffsky, speaking from his intimate and sympathetic acquaintance with convicts in Siberia, said : "During so many years I ought to have been able to seize some indication, however fugitive, of regret, of moral suffering. I have perceived positively nothing. Seclusion and excessive work only develop among those people a profound hatred, the thirst of forbidden pleasures, and a terrible indifference." He goes on to tell of a parricide who remarked carelessly, in the course of conversation : " Take my father, for example; he was never ill up to the day of his death." " Scenes of heartrending despair are hardly ever witnessed among prisoners," observes Dr. Wey of Elmira; " theirsleep is disturbed by no uneasy dreams, but is easy and sound ; their appetites, also, are excellent."1 " It is a most singular thing," remarks Mr. Davitt, "that I have met very few individuals in prison who gave evidence in appearance or talk of being truly miserable, no matter what the length of their sentence, amount of extra punishment, orcontrast between their previous and their convict life may have been."2 Mr. Davitt seems inclined to attribute ...

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