Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/627

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REFORMATORY PRISONS.

will develop. This is one of the most salient points of the problem. Lombroso cites an experiment made by a naturalist who placed together in an aquarium, divided only by a piece of glass, some carps and some of the little fishes they eat. At first the carps knocked violently against the glass to catch their prey, but after a while, seeing that their attempts were vain, they abandoned them, and when after a while the glass was removed they lived together in harmony. By habit they became innocuous if not innocent. So also the dog by custom and education ceases to steal. It is by such methods that Lombroso holds that congenital criminals must be cured, and not by baths and gymnastics or "collegiate prisons," which are powerless to affect moral habits.

These new theories and systems have ardent followers, but obviously also encounter violent opposition.

To Italy, to her honor be it said, belongs the due that she was the first in Europe to instigate and propagate the study of criminal anthropology. It may indeed be claimed for her that in that fair land the positive method is of ancient origin and that it sprang up in the Renaissance with Galileo. It attracted less attention as long as it was limited to the physical and natural sciences; but when it was carried into the moral and social field it awakened diffidence, and of this diffidence the effects were felt by men like Claude Bernard and Comte, in France; by Spencer, in England; by Lombroso and Garofalo, in Italy; and by Wundt, in Germany. But all the men, nevertheless, pursued their course undaunted. Indeed, most of them hold, and Lombroso above all others, that all this opposition on the part of their adversaries is desirable, as it spurs on to new exertions and helps to emphasize the deductions of the positive school, based as they are on minute anthropological researches.

Lombroso's firmness of purpose in the pursuit of his studies may best be estimated by quoting his own words with regard to his life's work:

". . . me rallier sans convictions au jugements du public moyen, en venir au moindre compromis pour l'amour de la paix,' m'arrêter un seul instant dans le travail incessant de renouvellement juridique et psychiatrique, auquel je me suis voué; ce serait non seulement m'avouer vaincu, mais ensevelir avec moi tout le travail de ma vie. Jusque-la n'irait pas meme l'abnégation. . . la plus chrétienne."

Surely he is a worthy successor and compatriot of Galileo. Even that great blind scientist spoke no prouder words when, tortured by rack and priests, he muttered, "Eppur si muove."