shows it as that one at Brooklyn did has not much to fear.

Another curious instance, quite typical of this class of American murders, was that of a mere lad in New York, whose mother was concerned in a lawsuit, and who shot her attorney dead in his office chair because he did not think he was conducting the case properly. I saw this amiable youth in the Tombs, and the chaplain a highly educated Episcopal clergyman, from whom I learnt a great deal about crime in America told me he did not care at all for what he had done, but rather gloried in it, so completely had temper overmastered his sense of right and wrong. I believe he is still awaiting trial on appeal. Innumerable shootings are the sequel of lawsuits, and if it seems that there has been any serious hardship in the decision of the court or the conduct of the case, public opinion takes a mild view of assassination, as a sort of compensating balance. This is unquestionably the reason of many suits being compromised. It is better to take half of what could be got, than to take the whole with a chance of being shot. It is very suggestive, when calling on a lawyer in any American city, to observe the revolver in a pigeon-hole of his desk or some other situation ready to his hand. But thousands of other business men take the same precaution. Revolvers are everywhere. The last time I landed in America I went into a money-changer's office, nearly opposite the White Star Company's dock, to get "currency" for my English gold. While waiting my turn at the lattice, I noticed a little girl playing with some heavy object close to the stove, which was nearly red-hot. Another customer noticed it, too, and with the usual blasphemous exclamation he took from the child a loaded revolver. The moneychanger, to whom he handed it, put it on a shelf behind him, with the remark that the child was always "foolin' around with somethin'."

The last of the three classes into which homicides in America may be broadly divided, are the most numerous, and are certainly the most disgraceful to the nation which countenances them. These are the multitudes of brutal and brutalizing murders done under a pretext of irregular justice called lynching. Lynch law is said to take its name from a strong-minded farmer in Virginia, in the middle of the last century, who, unable to obtain legal redress against thieves and trespassers in those rough times, used to seize them by VOL. LXXVII. 3951


force majeure, tie them to a tree, and flog them with his own hand. Farmer Lynch was a just man as well as a stern one, and his neighbors, finding that his character made his methods respected, resorted to him to settle disputes of their own with horse-stealers or other aggressors. This duty he performed with impartiality, and with substantial regard for the principles of justice. Hence he came to be called " Judge Lynch," and his decisions com. manded such support, that, whereas no innocent person feared him, no guilty one had any hope of escaping his sentence. Judge Lynch's court, though without legal authority, complied strictly with rules of law and evidence, as then understood. It probably dealt out better justice than most legally constituted courts in the American colonies did in those days. It was severe, but not merciless; expeditious, but not hasty; unceremonious, yet decorous; unpaid, yet absolutely incorruptible. The example of the Virginian settlers was followed by the inhabitants of all outlying settlements where society was not yet organized nor law established. The most respected citizen in each community was chosen judge, and the high character and decent procedure of the original court were faithfully maintained. The result was everywhere the same. Lynch law was a terror to evil-doers, and the sure precursor of law and order. It was itself a powerful exponent of law and order, and furnished as complete a tribunal as could be wished for under the circumstances. The main principles that governed the Lynch courts were these. All men were equal before the court. Every man was deemed innocent until proved guilty. Trials were held in public. The accused was brought face to face with his accuser. All evidence was given in open court, and the accused had the right of questioning every witness. After the hearing of the evidence, the accused had the right of speaking in his own defence, and of urging any matters not in evidence that might equitably weigh in his favor. The judg ment of the court was final. If found guilty of death, the accused was allowed a reasonable time to arrange his earthly affairs and say his prayers, and was forthwith hanged as humanely as might be. If acquitted, he was not liable to further molestation, but took his place in the community again as an innocent man. False testimony or any attempt to influence the court by fear or favor was a heinous of fence. It was as much as a man's life was worth to tell a palpable lie in evidence

before Judge Lynch, whilst a threat or the bare suggestion of a bribe was a "contempt" punishable by instant death. In a word, the accused had a fair trial. Such was Lynch law in its palmy days. But it is totally different from that now. The lynching remains, but the element of law has vanished. It is now neither more nor less than murder by a mob. There was, indeed, an intermediate stage in this degeneration, which is worth noting, because it explains much that would otherwise be inexplicable.

Lynch law proper was long ago superseded by regular justice in all parts of the United States, except remote cañons or inaccessible mining camps, where it may possibly linger yet for many years to come. But long after State judges and United States judges had occupied Judge Lynch's bench, and the cumbrous forms of law had been substituted for the curt ceremonial of a "meeting of citizens," the institution of lynching survived as a kind of accessory to the regular courts. The trial of prisoners was left entirely to the lawful authorities; but after conviction, the citizens in numberless cases took the execution of the sentence into their own hands. There were several reasons for this. One was that the legal tribunals never commanded half as much confidence as the Lynch courts in their best days used to command. They were not expeditious, and they were not incorruptible. It was soon seen that, because a scoundrel had been sentenced to death, it by no means followed he was to die. He had the right of appeal, and pending his appeal the accuser or the witnesses might be got at or overawed. If he did not appeal, his friends might bribe or intimidate the gaoler, or, if they were numerous enough, might force the gaol and take their mate out, to recommence his career of crime. But this was not all. A stronger reason always existed. The expenses of criminal proceedings were charged on the rates, and what with sheriff's fees, and State attorney's fees, and hangman's fees, and coroner's fees, and registrar's fees, and cost of gallows and wagons, and all the rest of it, half the year's revenue of a county might be swallowed up to put a single horse-thief out of the way. Hence arose the practice of "strengthening the sheriff's hands." That is to say, as soon as the sessions closed and the legal functionaries departed, the citizens, often headed by the mayor, went in procession to the gaol and demanded the body of the convict. The gaoler generally made no

more than a show of yielding to irresistible force under protest, so as to save his place and pay; but whether he did or did not made little difference. The prisoner was taken out of his custody, conveyed to some distance from the town, and hanged to a tree. The party then held an inquest, found a verdict of "died by misadventure," buried the body under the tree, and dispersed. There was a good deal to be said in favor of this system. The man was legally tried and condemned. There was no doubt about his guilt. It would be a gross failure of justice if he escaped, and the law-abiding community would be exposed to his vengeance and that of his accomplices in crime. On the other hand, if he were left to the slow and costly process of legal execution, the innocent ratepayers would be mulcted in a heavy tax. By taking him out of the custody of the gaoler and hanging him to a tree the citizens avoided all these risks and did no injustice to anybody. The two great objections to it were not nearly so apparent as its many advantages in such a state of society as that. It was unlawful, and it brought otherwise respectable people into contact and complicity with bloodshed. In any other country those two objections would have prevailed overwhelmingly against any number of advantages. But in America it was not so, and the result is what we see. The spirit of lawlessness and morbid excitement gradually took possession of the people, and lynching after sentence soon led to lynching before sentence. It became impossible for a man against whom there was much popular feeling to get a fair trial at all, or if he were tried and acquitted he was in danger of being lynched all the same. exactly what took place at New Orleans with the Italians accused of the murder of chief of police Hennessey. Those men were tried and acquitted; and, having read every word of the evidence day by day, as it was given, long before the excitement arose which ended so disastrously, I do not hesitate to say that upon that evidence they would have been acquitted by any unprejudiced jury, whether in Europe of America. There was nothing like con. clusive proof against them. Yet the citizens of New Orleans broke into the gaol and slaughtered them, together with several other prisoners who had not been tried at all.

This is

This brings us to the next step in the downward path of Lynch law. It is obviously only a short step from lynching be. fore sentence or in spite of acquittal to

captors from bringing him into Birming ham and handing him over to the police. But if they had done that, he would have got a reasonably fair trial, which is exactly what the citizens were determined he should not have. It would have cost money, there would have been no excite

lynching before trial; and this is very common now in all parts of America where popular passion is stronger than constituted authority. Great numbers of prisoners are taken out of legal custody, often with the connivance of the authorities, and put to death without their guilt or innocence having been made the sub-ment about it, and the chances were ten ject of any evidence whatsoever. There is to one the prisoner would have been aconly one step beyond that, and it has long quitted for want of proof. As it was it since been taken. The fact of legal cus- cost nothing, the citizens had a "lovely tody implies that the accused has at least time," and the honor of the injured family been arrested upon legal process, which was vindicated. There probably was not in itself is some sort of protection against a white resident in Birmingham who did mere undiscriminating murder. But in not approve cordially of what was done. some of the states the citizens habitually I was only there two or three days; but relieve the law of even that small share of during my short stay two men responsibility, and themselves undertake lynched, and one-who, I think, had the accusation and the arrest. It would given himself up to the policebe more correct to say they dispense alike hanged in legal fashion. I was told it was with accusation, arrest, and trial. The a "tough section," and that severe examwhole procedure is shortened down to sus-ples were needed, especially among the picion and execution.

I will explain this from my own experience. In July last year I was at Birmingham, Alabama, a wonderfully thriving town with a resident population of thirty thousand, swelling at certain seasons to sixty thousand. I stayed at a magnificent hotel, and saw around me all the externals of civilization and progress. I read in the local paper on the day of my arrival, however, a paragraph which showed how much real civilization or progress there was there. It stated that an assault had been committed on a woman in the suburbs of the town, and, after giving some sensational details, concluded thus:

"A colored man, named is suspected of the crime, having been seen loafing about the locality lately. He is said to have taken to the woods, but a party of citizens have gone in search of him, and when caught he will be lynched." | It is not necessary to draw further at tention to the points of this announcement, which differs in no material feature from scores that appear in American country papers every day. There could not be a more eloquent commentary on the tone of public feeling there. In this case, as in most, the party of citizens were successful in their search. They caught the suspected man, who apparently made no attempt to escape, but protested his innocence; and they bound him to a tree and burnt him alive. There was no proof that any crime had been committed at allnothing beyond a bare assertion and there was nothing to connect this man with it beyond vague suspicion. There was nothing, moreover, to prevent his




colored people. But I had already learnt enough in my travels to see that the colored people were so brutalized by the prevailing example of bloodshed and injustice, that they had little or no respect for law, divine or human. There are many tough sections in America. They cover a great part of some of the most important states. Examples," such as I have described, are always being made there. And the effect everywhere is precisely what I found it in Alabama.


It will doubtless shock and surprise worthy people in England, who do not know much about America, to hear that burning alive is practised in that free and enlightened country, a century after it has been abandoned in Spain and Italy. But so it is. In those states, where race hatred is added to the ordinary passions of a lawless mob, burning is not an uncommon form of execution by a lynching party. The Americans defend it on the ground that it is only employed to punish crimes against women. Humanitarians may say that is not a very good defence; and, in fact, it is no defence at all. other day, in Tennessee, a young negro, who had been tried for an assault on a woman and acquitted, but had afterwards been convicted of stealing, and served twelve months in gaol for it, was, nevertheless, met by a lynching party on his release, and burnt alive. The truth is, there is no rule in lynching, no scale of punishments, nothing of the sort. All depends on the humor of the lynching party at the moment, or the quantity of whiskey they have "hoisted in" before they get their victim into their power.

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Sometimes nothing but roasting will sat- | This being so, it is difficult to see how isfy them. At other times hanging or any improvement can be looked for. On shooting is sufficient. At others, knives the contrary, there is every reason to beor clubs are used. The other day a lynch-lieve that the state of things, of which I ing party massacred a number of colored have given only a faint impression in this men with axes, for the sole crime of work- article, will grow worse and worse, until ing for lower wages than white men. that great change comes which all thinkAnother lynching party flogged a young ing Americans say must come before very white woman to death for marrying against long. What that change is to be, or how the wish of her family and the neighbors. it is to be brought about, no one seems to The tendency of lynching, as all experi- have any definite notion. But one thing ence shows, and as might naturally be is sure. To be of any effect it must inexpected, is to become more frequent, clude in its scope the humanizing of the more irresponsible, more inhuman, and national sentiment - the realizing of what more subservient to private animus, the the author of the "Biglow Papers " had longer it is tolerated by the government in mind when he wrote:and encouraged by public opinion. The waste of human life through this odious institution is by no means its worst effect. The Americans will find out to their cost some day that it has degraded them from their place among civilized nations, and brought them perilously near the level of the blood-stained anarchies which are all that is left of the Spanish Indies.

What are the causes of it? Why are the Americans more given to bloodshed than other nations? There are three

main causes. First, slavery. That monstrous outrage on humanity has avenged itself in the very way in which Harriet Beecher Stowe in prose, and Longfellow and James Russell Lowell in poetry, foretold that it would. It seared the national conscience, and brutalized the national tone of feeling, and its legacy of degradation has increased with usury ever since the institution itself expired amid the clash of party strife. Secondly, the Civil War. For five years the Americans bathed and wallowed in each other's blood, and they revel in the recollection of it still. If they knew what is for their good, they would level all the war monuments, instead of raising new ones every year, and plough up the slaughter-yards which they call battle-fields. Thirdly, the futility of the law under the federal system of government. All this sanguinary lawlessness could easily be put a stop to if the central authority had power to deal with it. But the central authority has no such power, and the State governments are too feeble, and too much concerned with local and personal politics, to undertake so unpopular a task. In matters of this kind there is practically no government in America, where a totally mistaken idea of liberty prevails,

An' thet idee's thet every man doos jest wut he damn pleases.

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Tell ye jest the eend I've come to,
Arter cipherin' plaguy smart,
An' it makes a handy sum, tu,

Any gump could larn by heart;
Laborin' man an' laborin' woman

Hev one glory an' one shame.
Ev'ythin' thet's done inhuman
Injers all on 'em the same.


From The National Review.


Two years ago I was wandering about in Yorkshire, sketching "characteristic bits " of light and shade on the moors and coast, when, in the course of my travels, after revelling in the quaint old fishing villages of Runswick and Staithes, I found myself at the little grey town of Redcar. A bare little place it is, uninteresting enough in itself, but set in the midst of a grand tenmile stretch of firm sand, the severe outlines of whose golden curve, unrelieved by any beauty, save what may be gleaned from the broken lights on the rolling benthills, gain a certain serene charm from that very bareness, while the glorious, irrepressible eastern sea dashed towards it with immeasurable music of green billow and crested wave.

It was early night as I entered the little place, and a pale young moon was shining faintly across the grey waters. Far away, at the breakwater, the revolving light peeped in and out, and nearer great masses of flame, red, golden, and white, blazed and flickered from the furnaces at Eston. A light wind was driving the fleecy clouds swiftly across the deep blue sky; and the stars, now hidden, now shining out clearly, imparted a spiritual excitement to the scene, as though one were

chasing them, at the back of the breeze, and presently, when it fell down exhausted, the wild, mysterious things might be caught by one's human fingers. It was a weird picture, and I stood watching it in a half dream, until gradually I grew conscious that I was cold and hungry, and turned away to seek an inn. This I presently found near the middle of the long, quaint, foreign-looking High Street, and, after a hearty supper and a quiet pipe, made up my mind to stay the next day, which chanced to be Sunday, and sketch out a picture which should in some measure recall the weird glamor of my first impressions. Then I went to bed, and fell asleep at once, but only to dream that I was again pacing the sands, and watching those eerie fires now blazing high, now dying away into the darkness, with a ter rible anguish in my heart, for I knew I was seeking for something, which I must find, or else the penalty was dim, as things are in dreams; but none the less I was aware of a fiendish presence dogging my steps with unspeakable terror, and when the fires went out the darkness seemed closing round, full of ghostly hands which strove to drag me down into the threatening waters; then suddenly a bright gleam fell across my path, as the moon for a moment shook herself free from the enshrouding clouds, and I saw lying on the sand at my feet a white lily, dewy and fresh, and glimmering like frosted snow! I knew, almost ere my eyes fell upon it, that it was the object of my search, and sank to my knees with a trembling cry and outstretched hands; but before they reached the flower the drifting clouds had swallowed up the moon once again, and the darkness grew blacker than ever. Uttering a despairing wail, I sprang up and awoke, to find the brightness of morning everywhere, and the sea blue and calm, singing her jubilant dawngreeting.

But despite the fairness of the day my dream haunted me. The despairing figure, seeking for he knew not what, was exactly the idea I needed to give human interest to the weird landscape I had been mentally sketching, as I smoked my pipe the evening before; so immediately after breakfast I took my sketch-book and went out, intending to saunter down to the sands. When nearly at the end of the High Street, however, I looked at my watch, and found, to my annoyance that it had stopped. I turned away from the sea towards the station, to set it by the railway clock, and, having done so, came

slowly along Newcomen Street, and became suddenly conscious of a delicious breath of perfume. Now, in common with most servants of art, whatsoever forms their services may assume, I am extremely sensitive to sweet odors, and turned swiftly about, to discover whence it came. On my left I saw what I took to be a small house, covered with climbing white roses, set in a narrow border full of mignonette; a small white gate led from the street on to a neat path carefully sprinkled with shingle; and where it turned the corner a tall poplar-tree stood, its shimmering grey-green leaves stirred by a desultory breeze, whispering softly at intervals, as though thinking aloud. Insensibly I drew nearer, a sense of peace and rest stealing over me, and, standing by the open gate, saw immediately opposite a board with "Friends' Meeting House" inscribed on it in gold letters, and underneath "All are Welcome." I had never noticed this greeting before on any house of prayer, and the simple words struck me as a sort of invitation. With one half-regretful glance at the purple and green Cleveland Hills in the distance, and the fair stretch of meadowland at their feet, I stepped inside the open gate, and as I did so a sudden wind smote the poplar leaves till they clashed out like golden cymbals, and a robin, hidden in the thick foliage, poured forth its song.

I paused at the door, with a feeling of how marvellously fair the world was, and how near happiness seemed! To my thought it was aptly typified by that hid den bird, forever singing its mystic song close to our ears, yet forever fleeing at our approach!

Then I stepped inside, and found myself in a small room filled with bare forms, but containing no sign or symbol of any kind; everything was white, and gave an impression of snow; and the deep silence, broken by no bell's voice or note of music, aided the illusion. It recalled to my mind a certain pine wood, where once, in the dead of night, after a heavy snowstorm, I had wandered with noiseless footsteps amid the shrouded, silent trees, and realized for a few brief moments the meaning of spiritual communion.

All edifices used for the service of religion which I had previously seen displayed some attempt at decoration, prepared some slight scaffolding for the sense to mount upon; but here was simply nothing; not only no pictures, but no shadow of relief in color; not only no sculpture, but no slightest change of surface; and,

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