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A correctional system, of course, presupposes that there is something to be corrected. It is therefore a legitimate inference that, while we are examining how wrong may be set right, we might beneficially extend our researches, and inquire how far the wrong might be prevented from the beginning. If crime be as necessary a result of the workings of society as friction of the operations of machinery, it may still be possible to diminish the wear and tear of the engine by a better adaptation of its parts. No mechanist hopes that he can ever wholly get rid of friction ; his aim is to abate its intensity, and not its extent. In the same way the moral economist does not speculate on the utter extirpation of crime,-scarcely, perhaps, on a numerical diminution of offences ; but he believes that the intensity of criminality may be greatly abated; that offences may be gradually stripped of their aggravating circumstances; and that the same number of crimes shall not give the same amount of guilt.
However excellent a social system may be, it is impossible, in the progressive developement of social wealth and enjoyments, that laws, which necessarily multiply the conditions and circumstances of the use, can wholly prevent the abuse. Legislation, in fact, recognises a progressive increase in the numerical amount of crimes resulting from the developement of civilisation ; for every time that industry creates a new species of property, its possession is secured to the proprietor by a new guarantee of penal prohibition. This leads us to a consideration of great importance, usually neglected in criminal statistics. We have seen that law recognises as a fact the increase of abuses, whenever there is an increase of uses. The moral result of civilisation is, that the abuses do not increase in anything like the same ratio as the uses; that is to say, the amount of offences, though numerically increased, is actually diminished, proportionally to the progressive increase of occasions to offend. Now this moral result of civilisation cannot be shown from statistical tables; there are no returns by which we can compare the amount of crime with the temptations and opportunities to crimes in different ages and countries; we cannot compare the number of transgressions against property with the actual amount and circumstances of social wealth ; or, in other words, with the amount of occasions to transgress. The same consideration, though to a less extent, applies to offences against the person, a large proportion of which notoriously arise from passions connected with property.
That crime has thus proportionally decreased is undeniable. There never was a period when persons and properties were more secure in England. "Who now sleeps with pistols beneath his pillow, or hangs a blunderbuss within reach of his bolster? How many Londoners deem it necessary to spend a mortal half hour every night in bolting, barring, and chaining doors and windows? And this security has not been the consequence of increased severity of punishment; it has, on the contrary, been accompanied with a continuous relaxation of the penal code not only in the letter, but still more in the spirit of its administration. Criminality has assumed a milder form, as the punishment of criminality has become less severe; and crimes have diminished doubly, that is in intensity, and in their proportion to amount of property, so as more than to counterbalance their numerical multiplicity. To determine how far the last element is capable of reduction, it will be necessary to investi
gate the sources of crime separately and cautiously; and the way for this inquiry is cleared by removing all the nonsense based on the belief that crime was to be cured by punishment.
We have already said that the institutions of society determine the conditions of social existence; but we must add, that the action of the institutions is complex, even when the condition is most simple. In pursuing our investigations, we must therefore examine the conditions as they actually exist. Such a course will, of neces. sity, often lead us into strange company; but vice must be fearlessly tracked to its most secret haunts, if we desire to establish the security of virtue; just as it is necessary to study disease in order to discover the art of preserving health.
THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS.
BY HENRY WORDSWORTH LONGFELLOW.
THERE is a reaper, whose name is Death,
And with his sickle keep
And the flowers that grow between.
“ Shall I have nought that is fair to see,
Have nought but the bearded grain ?
I will give them all back again.”
He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes,
And kiss'd their tremulous leaves;
He bound them in his sheaves.
“ My Lord has need of these flowers gay,"
The Reaper said, and smiled;
Where He was once a child.
“ They shall all bloom in fields of light,
Transplanted by my care,
These sacred blossoms wear."
And the mother gave in tears and pain
The flowers she most did love ;
In the fields of light above.
Oh, not in cruelty, not in wrath,
The Reaper came that day :
And took the flowers away.
THE PATRON KING.
BY MRS. TROLLOPE.
A GREAT many years ago, so many, indeed, as to render the exact date somewhat uncertain, there reigned a King in Spain, whose name was Alphonso. He was in his day renowned for a variety of excellent and kingly qualities, and few princes ever reigned with more righteous intentions. Yet he was accounted proud, and not without reason; but his pride being rather of the kind to make him approved by the nobles than disapproved by the plebeians, it did in no wise detract from his general popularity. As to the paltry feeling, indeed, that leads one poor mortal to turn with disdain from another because the accidents of situation might vary between them, he was altogether incapable of it. The pride which he felt, and shrunk not from avowing, was purely pride of race. He was descended from a line of kings whose origin was lost in the clouds, and so blamelessly did this feeling work in him, that the noblest actions of his life derived their source, as well as their reward, from it. He gloried in believing that what he did would have been approved, had the whole host of his sainted ancestors sat in judgment on him. Nevertheless, as nothing is ever perfect in this lower world, King Alphonso sometimes suffered this reverence for ancestry to betray him into over anxiety respecting the purity of descent of those admitted to personal familiarity with himself and his family; and this led him unwillingly, good King, to the very verge of that contemptible little vice, called gossipping, by inducing him not unfrequently to ransack every possible source of intelligence in order to discover all that human observation could bring to light respecting the maternal ancestors of his courtiers; and sometimes, it must be confessed, to the dismissing very estimable men from his councils, because the voice of rumour had scattered doubts respecting the discretion of their mothers. Nor was this the only instance in which the virtues of King Alphonso leaned a thought or so towards weakness. Of this kind was his enthusiasm for every species of new invention, which, while it unquestionably tended to the encouragement of ingenuity, led him occasionally to bestow an unreasonable degree of favour and protection on mere projectors.
It was during a violent gale of wind, from which not even the fragrance-laden summers of Granada are exempt, that three French mariners had the good fortune to escape from a wreck that had cost the lives of all their comrades. The poor fellows, after witnessing the destruction of their vessel and all it contained, bent their steps inland, as if to turn their backs upon the treacherous old friend who had used them so scurvily. They had not proceeded in this direction above a mile or two, before they reached a well-shaded stone bench by the way-side, on which were seated an old man and his young daughter. They were regaling themselves from a loaf of rye-bread, and a basket filled with delicious grapes. The weary sailors looked at them wistfully, while the boldest among them stepped forward, and having briefly stated their misadventure, concluded by confessing that they were perishing from thirst and hunger. Their tale was listened to with kindness; they were invited to sit down and share the refreshing banquet, while the old vine-dresser, for such was the friendly Bibloche, lamented that instead of the grapes he had not their juice to offer as more befitting their toil-worn condition. The three young Frenchmen, however, declared that nothing could be more delightful than the fresh-plucked fruit; and, as bunch after bunch disappeared, the young girl, smiling to see how keenly they were relished, raised her gay voice, and sang,
“In stately halls, when the monarch calls,
Let the golden cup be near;
Let nought but the grape appear.
To cheer the care-worn soul ;
Better far than the feverish bowl.”
The repast ended, the mariners prepared to proceed on their road to —they knew not whither, and this melancholy truth being confessed in reply to Bibloche's inquiries, the hospitable old man bid them be of good cheer, for they should find rest and food at his cottage for that night, and set out again on their way to the great city on the morrow. Thankfully was the invitation accepted, and cheerfully did they help the old man and his daughter to finish their day's labour in the fields. The task was done, and the vine-dresser's cottage nearly reached, when they were met by a young man, who approached them with dancing steps, making castanets of his fingers as he bounded along.
“Wish me joy, Uncle Bibloche!” he exclaimed, “for I am come home rich enough to marry my cousin Iva, and to have as pretty a farm as yourself.” .“ Say you so, Lazarillo? ” replied the old man joyfully; " that is joy indeed! This is my nephew, signors, just returned from paying our blessed King Alphonso a visit in his palace,” continued the vinedresser, turning to his guests, “and he will be able to tell us news, I'll warrant him.”
“ From the court ? ” said Baptiste, in an accent of some surprise, and looking at the apparel of Lazarillo, which in truth was but little better fitted for a court than his own.
“I understand that glance, Signor Mariner,” said Lazarillo, much too happy to be offended, “but if you will do as I have done, you may pay a visit to King Alphonso too, and be as kindly welcomed as I have been, notwithstanding your sea-stained jacket.”
“Indeed ? ” was the doubting reply of Baptiste. “Ay — indeed, and indeed," retorted Lazarillo.
" And, what was it you did, Signor Courtier?” demanded Baptiste, with a laughing eye.
“I invented an invention,” replied Lazarillo gravely.
Baptiste shrugged his shoulders, like a Frenchman as he was, and grinned from ear to ear.
“ Nay, then, listen to me,” rejoined the young projector, who now appeared piqued at the incredulous airs of his new acquaintance,“Listen for a moment, and I will explain to you the meaning of my words, and prove their truth also.”
Lazarillo introduced his tale much as we have introduced ours-that is to say, he gave a slight sketch of the peculiarities of good King Alphonso, and concluded by entering at length upon a narration of his own adventures ; the most remarkable circumstance of which consisted in his having communicated to his Majesty an invention by which a young vine might be planted in the earth, with its roots in the air, and yet prosper most satisfactorily. “I only told the sentry at the gate," said Lazarillo, “ that I had invented an invention, and every door seemed to fly open before me; so that, before I knew what I was about, I found myself surrounded by all the grandees of the land, who were waiting the coming of the King. And amusing it was," continued Lazarillo, “to hear their talk. They were laying down the law about some poor young gentleman whose mother, they said, was suspected of being very little better than she should be ; and that his Majesty, King Alphonso, had banished him the court, and seized all his lands as a punishment upon her. It was the best fun in the world, to be sure, to hear all the lords argufying together as to whether or no the old lady was worthy to be mother to one of King Alphonso's grandees — and they did seem to make him out a desperate tyrant (God forgive me !) in such matters. However,” concluded Lazarillo, “that is no business of mine. I was soon called up to the foot of the throne, and, having explained my invention, received this bag of gold for my reward."
Compliments and congratulations, long drawn out, occupied the remainder of the evening; the hospitable Bibloche contrived to find space for three fragrant beds of vine-leaves within the shelter of the cottage; and, soon after daybreak on the following morning, after a somewhat long tête-à-tête conversation between Baptiste and Lazarillo, the refreshed and grateful mariners took their departure amidst the hearty good wishes of the happy party they left behind.
“It is a painful step, Baptiste, that takes one from a good meal when one does not know where on God's earth to turn for another," said young Arnaud, with a sigh, as they trudged along, without even a stick with a bundle at the end of it to comfort them.
“ That, as I take it, depends a good deal upon a man's confidence in his own private resources,” replied Baptiste.
“But, what if three poor devils start off without having any private, resources at all ? ” said Gregoire, the third shipwrecked mariner.
“Speak for yourself, if you please, M. Gregoire,” replied Baptiste, with a gay flourish of the hand.
“We were all in the same plight when we were wrecked, Baptiste ; and for aught I can see we are so still,” said Gregoire doggedly.
“ Fear nothing, my fine fellows!” exclaimed Baptiste gaily. “Arnaud, you brought me safe to shore through a rough sea, but then I stuck close to your jacket, remember. Do you but stick as fast to mine now, and I will engage to bring you safe through the rocks and quicksands among which I am going to steer. And as for you, Gregoire, you may, if you will, come after, as you did from the wreck, for company."
Arnaud readily promised to follow whithersoever his friend should lead; while Gregoire lustily exclaimed, “ Fear not, my lads, that I should lag behind. If he sticks fast for love, Baptiste, I shall stick fast for fear.”
Well satisfied with these promises of allegiance, Baptiste trudged on without further parley, too much occupied in meditating on the enterprise he contemplated to feel any inclination to talk. After about three