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as the place of her debût. We have said already that in part she was induced to make these extraordinary efforts that she might keep the delightful home where she had enjoyed so much happiness. She still resided there-its furniture-its library-its beautiful groundsits stables with her own and her young sisters' horsesits well-filled green-house-all remained untouched.
Many incidents in the life of this interesting woman are like a page out of a romantic story rather than a passage from real life; this is one of them. From room to room she went gazing fondly on beloved and familiar objects, with a prayer in her heart that God would so bless her as to enable her once more to return to that dear home and to enjoy within its walls something of her former happiness. She walked through garden and grounds; sate in her favourite seats; caressed her animals, and while her sister wept passionately, she herself did not shed one tear. This was the very morning
the whole Union with triumph, and would in the end make a large fortune.
She had not shed a tear through the whole of their misfortunes, nor even on that sad morning when with her sister she took a last farewell of her beautiful home, now, however, the flood-gates of her feelings seemed opened. She rushed alone into her chamber, and throwing herself on her knees, thanked Heaven from the depths of her soul and wept abundantly'
The sympathy of the whole city was with her. She repeated her readings night after night with increased success. Her heart was cheered and assured, and now she was naturally impatient to return to New York, that she might afford her father an opportunity of hearing Her fame had already her and witnessing her success. gone before her; and on her way thither she gave her readings at the city of Providence. The Americans have a much greater taste for and enjoyment in entertainments of this kind than we have, and the idea of realizing a considerable fortune by means of them appeared anything but chimerical.
Her return to New York afforded the greatest pleasure to her immediate connections and to the public in general: her father, too liberal and high-minded to entertain any petty pride, openly gave her efforts his sanction-her numerous sisters did the same-but she had here to see a new phasis of human nature.
Public applause and sympathy were with her; new friends and admirers gathered around her; she was likely to become an object of universal love and admiration; but many an old and beloved friend, who had flattered her in prosperity, now was ashamed of and coldly deserted her; the dearest friend she had, excepting her sisters, in her own family, one to whom she had looked up as almost to a mother, now totally dissevered herself from her; according to her conventional notions she had lost caste and was degraded. Oh, pride! how cruel and one-sided thou art. She was cut to the heart, she who had bravely faced misfortune, and had shewn a courage through severe trial which surpassed that of a man, was disarmed and enfeebled by the unkindness of those she loved. Her health gave way; she fell dangerously ill, and appeared to all to stand on the brink of the grave. Her medical men gave it as their opinion, that the shock which her feelings had sustained, and not her physical and mental exertions, was killing her. illness succeeded, which confined her to her bed for many months, and which consequently prevented her pursuing her public avocations. For two years she was a confirmed invalid.
that she set out for Boston.
That same morning she wrote a letter to her father, revealing to him her plans, with all her reasons in favour of them, and earnestly beseeching him not to distress her or to weaken her efforts by his disapproval. She begged of him to write immediately to her in Boston, that she might receive his letter before she made her first appearance in public, and thus, as it were, feel strengthened by his blessing. The dear sister, who was alone the depository of her secret, and who conveyed this letter to her father, parted with her at his very door, which she passed, without taking leave of her family, on her way to the railroad which conveyed her to Boston.
Mrs. Mowatt's name was already favourably known to the press in this city by a number of fugitive poems; and from the first, friends immediately gathered round her, cheering her by the assurance of unquestionable success. According to her earnest wish she received the day before her appearance the much-desired letter from her father; as well as letters from other members of her family; the surprise of all, as might be expected, was great, but as regarded her father, from whom she had inherited her great energy and perseverance, he gave his unqualified consent, approving of her plans and encouraging her to the utmost.
She had to make her debût in one of the largest public buildings in Boston; and such was the excitement and interest already created in her behalf, that when she stepped upon the rostrum, she found herself standing before a brilliant assembly, which completely filled the whole building. Her heart almost died within her; all at once she seemed to become aware of the momentous step she had taken; everything was at stake. Had she not over-calculated ber powers? She had risked all to save her beloved husband and the remnants of his fortune, and if she had deceived herself, and should now fail, it was a double ruin and disgrace. She had no one to aid her! she stood there a stranger and alone, without even the aid of music to fill up any pause or allow her an interval of rest. These, however, were
but the natural doubts of a moment.
The audience, as we have been told, were intensely interested in her appearance, she looked younger, even than she was, and pale as a marble statue-the intensity of her feelings made her cold as death,—she was dressed in plain clear white muslin, with a natural white rose, her favourite flower, in her hair and her bosom. She put up a secret prayer to Heaven for success, and the next moment calmly commenced her reading. How she performed she herself had not the slightest idea, and when the audience applauded she was too much absorbed by her own deep feeling to notice it. It is said that she did not even tremble, and her lips, though colourless as her dress, never quivered. On coming out the people thronged about her; they overwhelmed her with their enthusiastic approval; they congratulated her on her entire success--told her she would go through
A great work, however, was wrought within her soul, which taught her submission and patience, and which shewed her that every trial, however severe, is permitted by the Divine Father as a means of purification and of attracting his creatures still nearer to himself. Under this influence she wrote the following little poem, which we select from a great number of others written at this time, and which all breathe the spirit of the humble and trusting Christian.
THY WILL BE DONE.
Thy will be done! O heavenly King,
Its upward flight, great God, to thee!
To toil and groan and suffer here,
And meet the world's unfeeling jeer.
When heaven seemed dawning on my view,
And though the world can never more
Though friends I loved-the dearest-best,
As fondly presses mine to day.
Yet must I live-must live for those
Who mourn the shadow on my brow,
D'Arblay's Life and Letters. All the above and compilations with the exception of the two last, were extremely successful, edition after edition was sold, and much money was made by them.
We must now relate a little circumstance which appears to us as remarkable as any which have gone before, and which proves that the conscientious discharge of duty, together with a spirit of self-sacrifice and devotion, form the basis of Mrs. Mowatt's character. A singular chance brought her acquainted with a family of British emigrants of the name of Grey, who, after having gone through a series of the most grievous sufferings, were then literally perishing with hunger in that land of plenty. The father was blind, and the mother, in an advanced stage of a mortal malady, was unable to support her family, which consisted of several children, the youngest about two years old. Mrs. Mowatt did not shrink from the picture of abject, hopeless misery before her; on the contrary, all that we have heard of Sisters of Charity doing, was done in this case by this angelic woman; she clothed, she fed, she comforted them; she diffused light amid darkness, hope amid despair. Within a month of each other the parents died, and Mrs. Mowatt found three young orphans upon her hands, but she neither relaxed in her charity nor was dismayed by the weight or the responsibility of the charge.
With the consent of her husband, who had nobly coAoperated in her works of Christian love, they adopted the children to whom, having no family of their own, they had become greatly attached. To do all this however much self-sacrifice and self-denial was needed; but they had fortitude enough for this which is the severest trial of the sincerity of charity as well as of any other virtue. For the sake of these otherwise, friendless children, she was willing to bear and to exert herself, often beyond her strength. Among other things, we may mention that she made the clothes even of the boys herself, and gave them all daily instruction. How noble is such a woman! Far more admirable was she making, with her own hands, clothes for her orphans, than if she had remained the brightest ornament merely of wealth and fashion. Three years have passed since these excellent people have become responsible to God and man for these orphan children, and so far, this deed of christianity has brought, and promises yet to bring, abundant blessings. The children are lovely in person and disposition, and devotedly attached to their benefac
Yes, I will live-live to fulfil
The noble mission scarce begun, And pressed with grief to murmur still, All Wise! All Just! "Thy will be done!" During this long and severe illness the beautiful home which Mrs. Mowatt had made such extraordinary efforts to save, was sold, and though it had passed away from her for ever, so fondly did her affections still cling to it, that one of the first drives she took during her convalescence was to visit it. The stripped and deserted rooms had a melancholy aspect; the gardens were neglected and overgrown with weeds; it furnished the most complete contrast that could be conceived, to its former state. pang went to the heart of its young mistress, and yet she returned to her less ostentatious home in the city, though sorrowful, yet submissive to the will of God, let it be whatever it might.
About this time, her husband became the principal partner in a publishing business, and weak as she was, the whole force of her mind was turned to aid him in this undertaking. Wives like this, are truly what wives were meant to be, help-mates in the truest sense of the word. For some time she had written both in her own and under an assumed name in various newspapers and magazines. Under the name of Mrs. Helen Berkley, she wrote a series of articles which were popular from one end of the Union to the other; which were translated into German, and reprinted in London; the titles of some of these are Inconvenient Acquaintance," Practitioners and Patients;" "Sketches of Celebrated Persons," and the longest a one volume novel was entitled "The Fortune Hunter." It may perhaps be as well to remark here that a keen satirical vein runs through most of these works which may be ascribed to the wounds which she had received from her worldly friends and which, while they had tended to open her eyes to the falsehood of the world, had made her claircoyant as it were, to its faults and follies.
It was at this time that the works of Miss Bremer, through my translations, made their way into America, and afforded as much pleasure, and created as great a sensation as they have done elsewhere, and must of necessity do, on their first introduction wherever sound The success of these works induced Mrs. Mowatt to moral sentiment forms the foundation of social life. In write in her own name, and then curious enough, an Mrs. Mowatt's heart they met with the sincerest resattack was made upon her by some of the sapient cri- ponse; for her mode of action had long been framed ties for imitating what they called "The witty Helen instinctively upon the principles advocated and inculBerkley." Besides these works we must mention ano-cated by Miss Bremer. No wonder therefore, that she ther class which she prepared for her husband's pub- seized upon them with the utmost avidity, and hence it lishing concern, many of them while she was lying upon is that her longest work, "Evelyn," written soon her bed of sickness, the titles and numbers of which after this period, is formed so entirely upon the Bremer In this work as well as in the "Fortune will astonish every one "On the management of the model. Sick,' Cookery for the Sick," "Cookery and General Hunter." the intelligent reader will also become aware House-keeping," "Etiquette for Gentlemen," "Eti- of the infusion of another and a nobler spirit, even than quette for Ladies," "Etiquette of Matrimony," "On that of Miss Bremer-the spirit of Swedenborgian theKnitting, Netting, and Crochet," "On Embroidery,' ology which had now been for some time embraced by "A Book of the Toilette," this last little book, singular both Mr. and Mrs. Mowatt. to say, became very popular from its containing some wonderful cosmetics the receipts for which were furnished to her by a relative, to whom they had descended as an heirloom, and which set the ladies, far and wide, to stew and boil the specified roots and ingredients for such cosmetics as had probably belonged to the class which Mrs. Primrose and her daughters prepared. Besides these, she abridged the Life of Goethe and Madame
The history of this conversion, if so it may be called, is not less extraordinary than interesting, but we will hardly venture to communicate all we know, because the world is not yet prepared for the truths of spiritual life. At the important period to which we allude, a period of sickness and deep trial, knowledge was ever one of our diobtained through suffering, vinest teachers, which at once gave a new tone and a new
value to this world and the next. The young wife became, as it were, the teacher of the husband, and as in former days, he had guided and tutored her intellect, she now awakened and instructed his nobler spiritual being.
Unfortunately the publishing business in which Mr. Mowatt embarked, was unsuccessful, and new losses and disappointments for the time depressed them. But let no one despair until he have tried every power which is within him. Mrs. Mowatt had many resources yet. It had been told her that nothing which she could write, would be so productive as dramatic literature, for which every one who knew her, believed her eminently qualified. This induced her to make the attempt, and in the spring of 1845, she wrote her first comedy called "Fashion" which was offered to the manager of the Park theatre, New York; no sooner read than accepted, and splendidly brought out.
The design of this piece was to satirise the life of the parvenues of America, and it is undoubtedly indebted for a great deal of its faithful portraiture of life and its keen satire to the author's own experience and sufferings. To the surprise of the young writer, its success was unlimited; no American play was ever so brilliantly successful, and it still keeps its place on the stage.
In Philadelphia it was also brought out and equally well received. The managers of the Walnut-street theatre where it was performed, invited Mr. and Mrs. Mowatt to that city, that they might witness its performance. They accepted the invitation and were entertained three days in the handsomest manner at the expense of these liberal managers. On the night of the performance which Mr. and Mrs Mowatt were to attend, the bills presented to them were printed in letters of gold on white satin. After the play, the audience having discovered that the young authoress was in the house, called for her most enthusiastically. For the first time she that night was compelled to rise from her box and bow to a theatrical audience, little thinking that in less than two months from that time she herself would become familiar with the stage, and make her curtsey before the footlights of that very theatre.
After the play she was requested to go behind the scenes, to be introduced to the principal performers. It was a formidable thing, they were ranged upon the stage in a semicircle to receive her; she made a little acknowledgement to all, as well as her embarrassment would permit, and the following day sent a present to each of the five ladies in 'the piece. One of these five it will be interesting to our readers to know, was Miss Susan Cushman, now so delightfully familiar to the British public.
used to deter her. All this caused her so much pain and agitated her mind so fearfully, that to make an end of it, having gained the consent of her husband and father, she determined to expedite the final step that these distressing interferences might be ended. The time for her debut was fixed, only allowing about three weeks for the necessary preparatory study and instruction in stage business, and through the whole of that period she was persecuted and annoyed by letters, and warnings; but having advanced thus far, no efforts would turn her back.
She was to make her debut at the Park theatre, in the “Lady of Lyons." The eventful morning of the rehearsal came, and this is a more severe trial to a debutante, than the actual appearing before the public.
The gloomy theatre dimly lighted with gas almost chilled her. All the persons belonging to the theatre were collected round the scenes ready to sneer or laugh, or with malicious pleasure to confuse the novice; but Mrs. Mowatt, summoning all her energies, resolved to do her very best, and regardless of all present, to act her part, exactly as she would do it before the public at night; she took all by surprise, as they afterwards frankly confessed, and when the second act was finished each, in the kindest manner, did his utmost to help her
the very actors themselves applauded, which is the highest species of praise, because it is the most unusual. No one doubted the success which awaited her.
(To concluded next week.)
WE have so far considered whether the legal destruction of undoubted malefactors is justifiable: we will now proceed to enquire how far a punishment can be said to be moral that frequently despatches persons altogether innocent of the crime for which they professedly suffer.
The fact that the gallows has destroyed many guiltless persons, is one of the strongest arguments that can be employed to prove the immorality of the practice. In professing to copy with awe the one Paternal Mind," The great success of this piece caused the managers of we assume one important attribute of the Deity, and some of the principal theatres to make her very tempting stupidly forget another, which is absolutely necessary offers to adopt the stage. The acting manager of the for the right exercise of the first. We claim_ God's Park theatre had two years before, when he witnessed right to judge, but forget that we have not his Faculty her dramatic readings, offered her the same induce-of Discernment. We brandish His sword of Omnipoments, but these, at that time, she indignantly refused. tence, and forget that we have not His eye of OmnisHer pride had not yet been wholly conquered, she had, cience. I see anything but morality in that: I see in it however, since then, suffered a great deal, had gained an infinite immorality. far greater independence of character, more determination of spirit and greater liberality of views. The shackles which had then, in some degree, bound her to society and its slavish conventionalities were now broken. She was free and she dared to do whatever was not contrary to her own pure conscience.
The only impediment which stood in her way was the extreme delicacy of her health. However after consultation with physicians she obtained her husband's consent, and after considerable difficulty the consent also of her father, who simply said that if she had but the courage to do in public what he had seen her repeatedly do in private, her success was certain. On the other hand, again came in the opposition of family connections; threats, entreaties, prayers, and tears, were
It seems to me a principle from which there can be no departure, that man can have no right to inflict any penalty which he cannot recall if he find that he has inflicted it in error. The limitation of the human faculties is a natural sign that there should be a limitation in human punishments. And when we further reflect upon the horrible and atrocious mistakes which man has made in the use of this penalty of death, we find our argument confirmed and enforced by experience to a degree that makes our conclusion absolute.
The ruler of one age thought that the Albigenses were criminals, and destroyed them: the ruler of another deemed Protestants worthy of death, and burned them alive in Smithfield: a third ruler ordered the massacre of St. Bartholomew. Within the last 150 years,
40,000 persons have been found guilty of witchcraft in Great Britain, and have been killed by British rulers! What a fine moral judge must man be to make such awful blunders !
Three years ago an aged man died confessing the
But it is not so much of errors in the perception of crime that I would here speak, as of mistakes in the de-commission of a murder in Lancashire, for which four tection of the criminals. Men by hundreds have been men had been executed several years before, vehementtried, condemned, and killed, for offences which they ly protesting their innocence. never committed at all-the real criminals escaping! From the mournfully numerous list of such cases, I select a few striking instances.
At Ipswich, in 1845, a man named Howell was hanged for a murder which everybody is now persuaded he did not commit. Even the chaplain of the gaol (usually the In the evidence given by Sir Frederic Pollock, the last official to look on the merciful side of a case) aspresent Lord Chief Baron, before the Criminal Law Com-serted his positive conviction of the man's innocence. missioners, it was stated that for a long period past, an The recent Report of the New York Committee on innocent individual had been executed in England every Capital Punishment-a very valuable document--says, three years. Sir James Mackintosh made a similar "The last execution which took place in Columbia was statement. And Sir Fitzroy Kelly has asserted that this of a woman for the murder of her child. Fifteen years is far below the real average: that since 1800 more than afterwards an old woman on her death-bed confessed forty innocent persons have been destroyed. Sheriff the crime." The same authority informs us that in Wilde, in his evidence before the same committee, gave May, 1834, a man named Boyington was hanged for the some appalling accounts corroborative of these facts. murder of one Frost, and afterwards shown to have They may, therefore be taken for granted. But not to been guiltless. rely on general assertions, let us take a few well-known individual cases.
At a public meeting in Exeter Hall, held in May, 1846, I heard Mr. O'Connell relate a circumstance of this kind. Three brothers of the name of Cremen, whom he had been employed to defend, were found guilty, and hanged, in Ireland; their innocence being subsequently proved beyond a doubt.
Let us think next of the vast number of instances in which poor innocent creatures have been saved only at the very last moment.
Sheriff Wilde states, that in the space of nine months while he was sheriff, no fewer than five persons were respited on the ground of innocence, solely by his exertions: two out of the five being respited at half-past eleven on the night before the day on which they were to be hanged at eight.
At a meeting of the Town Council of Cork, in April, 1845, Captain Sullivan mentioned a case which came The Christian Witness records a case at York, within his own experience. Two young men, named wherein a reprieve was forgotten to be sent at the right Tobin and Burke, were, not long before, sentenced to time by the Under-Secretary of State, and only ar execution for murder. When the time for their destruc-rived as the men who were to be executed were actution arrived, a quarter of an hour's respite was asked ally ascending the cart! of the Sheriff, to enable the men to receive an answer That dreadful case, too, must be fresh in the general to some enquiries which they said would prove their in-memory, wherein Lord Denman found by a paragraph nocence. The delay was denied them, and they were in a newspaper, that execution was about to be inflicted hanged. The execution was scarcely over when a res- on a man who had actually been reprieved, but whose pite arrived. The enquiries set on foot had proved the reprieve had not been forwarded by the Recorder! entire guiltlessness of the supposed criminals!
A case is on record of a young man being apprehended on the charge of murdering his father. The old man was found dead, and the prints of the son's shoes were traced in the snow to and from the father's cottage; the shoes themselves being found by the officers under the prisoner's bed. He was hanged. Shortly after, his sister confessed the crime, and stated that she had put on her brother's shoes to avert suspicion from herself.
A recent number of the Jackson Patriot (U.S.) has the following paragraph:-"In the Autumn of 1833, a man named Ebenezer H. Miller, was convicted of the murder of a squaw in Kent County, in Michigan, and sentenced to be executed. The gallows had been erected on which he was to be hanged, and only two days were to elapse before the sentence of death was to be put in force, when the governor commuted it to confinement for life in the state-prison. Here Miller remained three years. A man named Harvey, pretended that he saw the murder committed, and was the principal witness against Miller on his trial. Not long since, Harvey, on his death-bed, acknowledged that he was the guilty person, and that he had charged Miller with the crime, in order to shift the danger of the punishment from himself."
Smollett, in his " History of England," has the following sentence:-" Murder was perpetrated upon an unfortunate woman in the neighbourhood of London, and an innocent man suffered death for the offence; while the real criminals assisted at his execution, heard him appeal to Heaven for his innocence, and in the character of friends embraced him while he stood on the brink of eternity."
In 1838, a man named Horrebow, was charged at the Lambeth Police Court, with murder. Several witnesses positively swore that he was the assassin; but just before his trial, a man named Robertson came forward and confessed himself the culprit. When the two men were confronted, the likeness between them was 80 astonishing, that they could scarcely be told apart.
It is a singular, but undeniable fact, that on many occasions men have confessed themselves guilty of crimes which they never committed. In Sir S. Romilly's Memoirs, there is an account of a man named Wood who was accused of mutiny. Instigated by some insane motive, he acknowledged the crime, and was hanged. His entire innocence was afterwards established. Half a dozen persons, at least, have proclaimed themselves the murderers of the bar-maid in the Regent's Park, who was assassinated a few years ago. And a month or two since, a man named George Mills, voluntarily
At Dublin, in 1728, a surgeon was found alone in his house, with his maid-servant murdered. He himself had blood on him. He was tried and executed. Several years after, another man confessed the deed.
There is also to be noticed the well-known case of a murder on Hounslow Heath some years ago, for which no fewer than three different batches of culprits were hanged the two first being eventually proved altogether guiltless.
In February, 1845, a man named John Gordon was executed in Rhode Island, United States, for murder. His innocence was subsequently established beyond the shadow of a doubt.
In one of "Chambers's Miscellanies" there is an authenticated account of a father, William Shaw by name, who was hanged in Edinburgh for the murder of his daughter. Shortly after his execution, it was found that the daughter had committed suicide! Jonathan Dymond, in his "Essays," speaks of six men being hanged at one Exeter Assize, all of whom were afterwards proved guiltless.
accused himself of the murder of Eliza Grimwood, although it was afterwards proved that he was hundreds of miles from London at the time when the deed was perpetrated.
To the multitude of known cases wherein capital punishment has been inflicted in error, we must add the vast numbers in which mistake may fairly be presumed. If, during the last half century, forty innocent persons have been murdered by mistake, how much larger must have been the proportion years ago, when capital inflictions were ten times more frequent, and when the blood-loving administrators of the law were even more careless, and still less accessible to pity, than they are now? The imagination shudders as it contemplates the vast" army of martyrs" thus slaughtered in error: and the heart sickens at the thought of the solemn asseverations of innocence which have so often been despised and disregarded, though uttered from the very scaffold itself. What conception can be more utterly horrible than that of a guiltless man destroyed by his fellow-creatures, in spite of protestations made on the brink of the grave, and sworn to, with God for his witness!
"O! as man, proud man, Dressed in a little brief authority,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high Heaven Angels themselves might weep!
obstinacy of the "powers that be" on such occasions would scarcely be believed but for an overwhelming mass of testimony from all quarters to its truth. Mr. Wilde, speaking of two innocent men who were ordered for execution, says,-" After several communications with Sir Robert Peel, and not until half-past eleven o'clock on the night before they were to be hanged, was I able to procure a reprieve!" In the melancholy case of Chalker, at Ipswich, even an hour's delay was refused, notwithstanding a positive assertion that the man's innocence could be established: and the victim was hanged, though afterwards proved to be guiltless. Not to speak of other cases, the recent execution of Hutchings at Maidstone, may be finally referred to. When the application for delaying his execution was made, the Secretary of State was not to be found,-and the matter was left to the tender consideration of an undersecretary, who, after granting a two hours' respite, finally ordered the man's destruction by sending a verbal message to the South Eastern Telegraph-keeper, that the execution was to be proceeded with! Surely the wires must have burned with the consciousness of guilt as they carried the infernal message!
One or two more considerations, and I close the moral argument against the gallows.
In the first place, can the ruler have, under any circumstances, a moral right to inflict a punishment which is undeniably demoralizing in its tendency? If, as is admitted by all, evil is found to result from the practice of hanging, where is the moral code that will justify man in its use? To do evil that good may come, is uni
To think of the poor murdered creature in his "cold, cold grave;" of his wretched family vainly wringing their hands over him whom they shall see 66 no more at all for ever;" and of a stupid, cold-hearted world look-versally forbidden in all systems of ethics. ing callously on, and permitting the atrocity to be perpetrated in the holy name of justice-oh, it makes the blood boil in our veins with indignation, and the mind recoil upon itself, stunned with overwhelming horror!
Our opponents mock us by pretending to deplore these "accidents" as much as we do. "To err is human," the hypocrites tell us. No human institution is infallible who can always be right?" Murderers! by your own logic you stand condemned. If you are fallible, how dare you deal the judgment of the Infallible? If you are liable to err, how dare you inflict an irrevocable doom? If your arm may smite the wrong, how dare you pretend to wield the discriminating sword of God? Oh, by your own shewing you are the very worst of assassins; for you murder with your eyes open, and in defiance of the light which you admit yourselves to possess !
But what is that which you croak back to me in reply? "You do your best to avoid mistakes ?-You take every care, and make every enquiry, that may preclude the chance of error?" It is false! The reverse is the fact. Government shows no anxiety on behalf of life. Less care is manfested respecting life than is shown for even the meanest species of property. In cases where only the value of a sixpence is involved, there exists a right of appeal after judgment: but in cases of life and death, the right is emphatically refused!-from the sentence there can be no appeal whatever. It is true that the crown possesses an overruling prerogative of mercy but official apathy stands between it and the subject, and nothing can be more difficult than even to get a case noticed by the executive. There is plenty of evidence to prove the extraordinary difficulty which stands in the way of those who seek the revision of a capital sentence. Mr. Samuel Warren, in his recent tale called "Now and Then," has graphically described such an attempt: and nothing can be more harrowing than the cold-blooded indifference exhibited by the minister of state to whom the appeal is made. And the picture is no fiction. It is as true as facts can make it. It is next to impossible to get the attention of the proper authorities fixed upon such cases and the coldness, impassiveness, carelessness and
Secondly, the punishment of death is immoral (that is, unjust between man and man) because it inflicts an eternal penalty upon a human offence. I am not now about to enter into the question of religion: that I leave for future chapters: but I simply urge the conclusions of philosophy. That the soul enters into a new and unalterable state at death, reason affirms, as well as Revelation: and consequently he who kills the body sentences the soul. Now the crime punished is simply a question between man and the culprit: the sin of the act he is not called upon to measure. I maintain, then, that the crime committed being only a human ofence, it should only be subject to a human penalty: and death being a divine one, it is, consequently, not at man's disposal.
Thirdly, there is the following grave question to be answered:-Have we a moral right to destroy a fellowcreature for immorality, whom we have taken no pains to instruct in the paths of goodness? We make no attempt to moralize our people, and yet we pretend to punish their wickedness. From what class come our criminals? From the untaught. And whose fault is it that a people remains unenlightened? Is it not the State's alone? Yes, it is. And for every crime committed in darkness, the neglectful State, and not the neglected culprit, is morally accountable. We leave the child to wallow in filth and ignorance, and we hang him when in the necessary course of events, he becomes an abandoned and desperate man. Let us manfully think of this, and prate no more about our morality until we have mended our foolish and cruel neglectfulness. Let us educate the children, instead of strangling the men: let us lead them to be good, instead of leaving them to be destroyed when bad: let us ensure their morality instead of trumpeting our own!
But now to ascertain the full result of our enquiry into the morals of this matter.
Starting with positive proof that the infliction of death by man on man as a punishment, is a practice not merely inexpedient, but largely and frightfully injurious, we have now further seen,-That no plea of the inherent sinfulness of murder can justify the use of the gallows against the criminal, for sinfulness consists in motive,