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A lady was affected with this- monomania so strongly that, upon her trial for theft, she stated that she had such a mad longing to possess herself of everything she saw, that if she were at . church she could not refrain from stealing from the altar. Dr. Rush, the American physician, informs us that a woman who was exemplary in her obedience to the moral law—except the eighth commandment—was so addicted to larceny that, when she could take nothing more valuable, she would often, at the table of a friend, secretly fill her pockets.,with bread. Lavater also states that, a doctor of medicine could not leave hisjSiatients’ rooms without taking something away unobserved; and his wife searched his pockets and returned to their owners the knives, thimbles, scissors, &c., which her husband abstracted. The wife of another physician had so strong a propensity to steal, that, on making purchases, she endeavored to take something away that did not belong to her; and two German countesses appear to have been guilty of the same vice. The almoner of a regiment of Prussian cuirassiers,' a well-educated man, frequently on parade stole the handkerchiefs of the officers; and one unfortunate man was so far under the influence of kleptomania that, being nigh unto death, he actually sacreted the snuffbox of his confessor. As to modern instances of this species off insanity, we knew a parish clergyman' who stole every article he could lay his hands on. If out at dinner he pocketed scraps of bread, table napkins, or anything. When lodging at hotels he carried off pieces ■of soap and the ends of candles mom his His larcenies beclpie so notorious that he was ultimateljp brought before the Church Courts and turned out of his living. A very recent instance of this alleged infirmity may be cited :—Recently,at the Middlesex Sessions, before the assistant judge, Mr~P. H. Edlin, Q.C., John Green, aged 69, traveller, was indicted for having stolen a bag containing books and other articles, the property of the Rev. James Finder, of Alton, Hants. The prisoner, who was at first pleaded “ guilty of kleptomaniai/-!«,but this plea not being allowed, it wai* altered into that of not. guilty. The jury found him gu i I dT-a^nceyipus conviction having, been proved gainst ; him, he was sentenced to 14 mbits’ , hard labor and three years’ police supervision.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 522, 30 December 1881

Word Count

CURIOSITIES OF KLEPTOMANIA. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 522, 30 December 1881