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dent universality of the beastly habit, stones, it would surely be assault and and I appeal therefore from Noah sober battery; but the size is merely a questo Noah drunk. It makes little differ- tion of degree, and not of principle. ence in what degree of consanguinity No one, nowadays, throws whiskey at he may stand to us, or at what genera- me in the street. There is, moreover, a. tion the family-failing, by a kind of real precedent in Pennsylvania for the atavism, became the inheritance of all prohibition of tobacco. (Act of Octoour relatives. In this I am a Lamarck- ber 28, 1701, Statutes at Large, Vol. 2, ian. How difficult, therefore, the com- p. 68.) The Act is probably in force plete triumph of Prohibition may now, for I find no record of its repeal. prove!
It provides that if any person shall preTobacco in comparison is a mere sume to smoke tobacco in the streets of chance habit, a whim of a passing day; Philadelphia, either by day or night, for it was introduced only three hun- he or she shall, for every such offense, dred and forty years ago — an affecta- forfeit twelvepence, et cetera. Alas, tion borrowed from a sluggish and sav- how soon salutary legislation falls into age race, unfit for civilization! It at desuetude, unless protected by heavy once excited the disgust of many. Its penalties, or enforced with eternal ardent opponents counted among their vigilance! number 'the wisest fool in Christen- Moreover, in the ingrained prejudice dom.' The wisdom of James the First of the people, liquor is, or is alleged to was canny Scotch wisdom. His procla- be, quite beneficial in some diseases, mation of 1619 was quite in accord with and even necessary to save life in the economical advice I have given others; but no one, I believe, or if any above; for therein he urged the settlers certainly only a few, can be considered of Virginia ‘rather to turn their spare absolutely dependent upon nicotine time toward providing corn and stock, for existence. If by the prohibition and toward the making of potash or of wine a few old, feeble, and useless other manufactures.' He carried his members of society are rightly sacriopposition so far that in order to pro ficed to the public good, how much more tect his people from the noxious drug readily the fewer and more offensive he preëmpted all that was imported victims of their own vice? and sold it again at higher prices. There are precedents for such action (MacPHERSON: Annals of Commerce, in the cigarette laws of many States, II, 302.)
in our own Act of 1901 providing that But that which a despotic govern- tobacco is not to be sold or given to any ment could not control in a distant person under sixteen years (Act July colony may be readily achieved by a 10, 1901, Purdon's Digest, p. 1014) and free and highly centralized democracy. that of 1903 against selling cigarettes to
Note especially that the habit of any person under twenty-one (Act drinking, however loathsome to the April 4, 1903, Purd. Dig. p. 917.) This drinker, is not so offensive as that of Act recites: 'Whereas the smoking of smoking to his fellows, whom it is the cigarettes is injurious to the young.' function of Government to protect. This opinion, being the law of the State, What right has the smoker to discharge cannot be now legally controverted. his by-product in my face? Why should There is also an early precedent for the I, drugged against my will, lose my absolute prohibition of the public smoksleep because another smokes? If the ing of tobacco in the Connecticut Code particles of smoke were larger, like of 1650.
is attempt of
siogin in any was heese,
If, however, this reform is attempted, I pause to explain that this expresit is important that all stocks of the of- sion 'to put teeth into an act' had its fending substance should be destroyed. origin in a very early prohibitory measThis precaution was omitted in the ure. That was the act prohibiting present Prohibition Amendment and mice from eating cheese. According to the Volstead Act, and the occasional in the ancient story as related in an old fractions of that Act may be attributed law book, “The women were much conto the fact that it is merely prohibitive cerned at the continued depredations and does not strike at the basic fact in on their stores. A body of very wise the production of liquor. Readers of men had an Act passed with half the history will recall the decree of Domi- words in the English language and tian, who, on account of a plentiful backed by all the rhetoric of Lincoln's wine crop attended with scarcity of Inn, that it should be death without grain, forbade anyone planting any benefit of clergy for a mouse to eat more vines in Italy, and ordered the cheese. Still the pantries were robbed vineyards in the provinces to be cut and the lawgivers laughed at. A sage down, or but half left standing. Un- cat armed and clad in scarlet, having fortunately the attempt was abandoned crept into the Senate House through a by that Emperor.
borough, urged that he be allowed to Ahab, King of Israel, on a smaller execute the decree.' The rest of the scale but with stronger arm than Domi- story is well known. Since then the tian, displayed a similar enlightened language has been enriched with the policy. For he expropriated the vineyard phrase a ‘law with teeth in it,' and of Naboth in order to eradicate its mice are on their good behavior. vines and replant it with potherbs. (I The policy of putting teeth in laws, Kings XXI.) It is to be noted that Ahab according to the feline system was foroffered Naboth the value of his vineyard merly very frequent. The Israelites in money; but this would not be neces- adopted it in the law punishing with sary in this country where the expensive death the gathering of sticks on the method of condemnation is avoided Sabbath. King Charlemagne followed and the property is taken under the it in the law which made eating meat police power. A similar policy, broader in Lent a capital crime. English law than Ahab's, less vacillating than adopted it in King Henry the Fourth's Domitian's, pursued in our country law for the burning of heretics, and it is would materially diminish infractions an ascertained fact that the countries of the Prohibition law. It would only in which men do not build fires on Sunbe necessary to prohibit the growth of day, and never eat meat in Lent, and every substance out of which alcohol never turn heretic, are the same councan be made, such as wheat, corn, rye, tries in which mice never eat cheese. barley, potatoes, apples, peaches, and In order to put teeth into a law, it is, other fruit.
fortunately, not necessary to resort to capital punishment; according to the
papers a judge at New Castle, PennsylAny act of this character will re- vania, has just sentenced one John quire teeth, and this brings us to the Bowie, accused of transporting liquor, second principle of the New Liberty, to attend church every Sunday for two which is that all reform legislation years, apparently with no time off for must have the sanction of severe penal- good behavior. So I suppose the senties vigorously enforced.
tence will be carried out, unless the ac
when 100 often. tis patte
cused obtain a release by habeas cor- thus improve the conditions of life. pus, on the ground of the constitu- If any mistake is made by the admintional inhibition of cruel and unusual istrative official, the individual has punishments.
immediate recourse to court, and the
burden of proof is thereby shifted to the III
accused, where according to many sysThird. — Another principle of the tems of legislation it rightly belongs. New Liberty is the principle of Ad- Another Act of the Pennsylvania ministrative Authority. Under this Legislature of 1923 provides the nummore and more power is being granted ber of pounds to the bushel in some to Federal, State, and Municipal Offi- eighty-one articles, and the close obcers, enabling them to carry out the servance of this law would no doubt laws of all kinds.
make for much regularity in merchanThe General Government has a dising. It provides that a bushel of supervision, now ripening into control, spinach shall contain twelve pounds, of transportation, banking, and in gen and a bushel of sand one hundred eral of trade. These powers, joined to pounds. What weight shall be satisfied that over the mails, the secret service, when the spinach contains sand — and a number of bureaus, enable the alas! too often the case — is not proWashington authorities to trace out vided. The Act is patterned upon the and prevent any machinations of the principle of the Act of 1797 (Purd. individual that are seen to be contrary Dig. Vol. 1, p. 540), which provided to the general interest. Closer team- that all loaf bread made for sale within work is still desirable between the Fed- this Commonwealth shall be sold by eral and State Governments, but the the pound avoirdupois, under penalty latter are naturally learning that the for infraction. This Act is still in force. greater must direct the less.
It is true that the Bread Act, so far, An example of this principle is the has had no appreciable effect, except to Act passed by the last Legislature of allow a dishonest purchaser to avoid Pennsylvania, authorizing the Secre- payment of his debt, but this is because tary of Banking, whenever he is of the the Act stands alone. If there were opinion that a Banking Institution is similar acts dealing with all articles, ‘in an unsafe or unsound condition to and requiring all to be sold by weight, continue business,' to enter upon its and each of these acts was diligently office and close it up. Under the pres- followed up by a corps of Governent law the Commissioner takes imme- ment Agents, zealous, patriotic, welldiate possession without recourse to the paid and incorruptible, there would be Courts and the Banking Institution is a different story to tell. Some excepentitled to reëstablish its credit by ap- tion might have to be made in the Act plication to the court afterward. as to selling by the pound such articles
It is remarkable that no such law has as gas, electric current, and real estate. yet been adopted for food inspection It is difficult to deal with such suband destruction. If the Board of jects by State Legislation, as all eyes Health were given authority not only look to Congress; and it is evident that to seize and destroy bad food, but to remedial legislation on this subject close the shop of the offending seller, should be general because there is no preferably with a padlock, it would State in the Union in which bread is not effectually put the wrongdoer out of sold. Accordingly Charles H. Brand, a business, probably permanently, and Member of the House of Representa
tives, introduced into the last Congress many years ago in South Carolina, a bill for the Federal Regulation of the which is an illustration of the dangers size and sale of loaves. A survey made of laws becoming obsolete, unless reby the Director of the Bureau of Stand- enacted. The law provided that every ards revealed a fact which few would male citizen of age should attend have imagined — that one hundred and church, fully armed, and this law may five different-sized loaves of bread are still be on the Statute Book, the legismade in Pennsylvania alone; four thou- lators not thinking it safe, perhaps, sand loaves of bread varying from ten in that jurisdiction, to repeal it. The to forty-eight ounces each were weighed peculiarity of this enactment is that and found to be sold to the public at it is directly contrary to the rule of varying prices.
early Christian times, which forbade This is quite at variance with the bringing arms into the church. legislative policy of the State from its Locke in the celebrated constitution earliest times. The Act of November which he drew for Carolina provided 27, 1700, provided that all bread should that any laws not reënacted should be sold by Troy-weight; that only three become obsolete in a hundred years. kinds should be baked, viz.: white, But as this constitution never went wheaten, and household, and no more; fully into effect no harm was done. ‘and the loaves shall be a penny loaf or roll, a five-penny loaf, and a ten-penny loaf; and that if any of these exceed the assize in fineness or weight, it shall be A fourth principle of the New Liberequally seizable as if it were under the ty is Uplift; that is that adequate laws fineness or weight.'
shall be passed for the Welfare of the Now it is a fact about bread that the People. President Coolidge expressed heavier it is the more it weighs, and in his message of December 1923 the therefore the more it would cost if sold opinion that the Government was by weight; and the lighter it is the bet- not doing enough for the general welter it is, and yet would be sold for less; fare. Carrying out this policy the but everyone would of course buy the President, on April 13, 1924, appointed cheapest, so that a proper Act would a Commission to formulate a National not only ensure fairness in dealing, but Out-of-Door Policy. We may rejoice would bring the best bread within the then in one great step taken by the reach of the poorest persons — an end Pennsylvania Legislature, in passing not always attained by legislation. the Act creating an Athletic Commis
Acts of Assembly, in fact, should not sion. This Act provides for three Combe allowed to become obsolete, for laws missioners, at a salary of $5000 each; are like bread and eggs. Pan d’un di, and a Secretary, with a salary of $3000; ovo d’un hora, says an old proverb. also, for the appointment of Referees (Bread one day old, an egg one hour.) A to superintend prize fights. It was number of these 'moth-eaten’ laws call modeled, I believe, upon the legislaloudly for enforcement. I might men- tion of New York State. It was, intion those against blasphemy, gam deed, somewhat of an inconsistency bling, baggage-smashing, pool-selling that the same Legislature reduced as well as the Act of 1919, providing a the appropriation to sundry hospitals, penalty for selling as fresh eggs, eggs in which the participants in these which are not fresh eggs.
fights may expect to be treated. Some There was an interesting law passed will think it also an inconsistency that
come therewiding nd also of child be er it
prize fighting and boxing had been This is in accordance with the policy made illegal by the Acts of March 16, of the Trade-unions, which is now
1866, and March 22, 1867; but we established by general acceptance, must not allow ourselves to be dis- and has become regular in all the prinmayed by those slight inconsistencies cipal trades. The Sunday laws could which are the essential mark of a pro- readily be extended from holy days gressive legislative policy.
to holidays, the old distinction beAlthough in the right direction the tween the two having passed away. Act was a mere step. The modern The suggestion that laws be passed world fully realizes the need of clean, for the sterilization of criminals is compensated, and professional sport, highly scientific, and there are preceand there should indeed be similar dents for it in our Colonial laws. Once acts providing for commissions for adopted the principle is capable of baseball, golf, and also, and probably extension to even more necessary especially, for games of chance. A fields. We all know that it is not crimiproper encouragement should be ex- nal people that annoy us so much as tended to new games. Mah Jongg is it is disagreeable people. Criminals struggling for recognition, and should are rather favorites with some. Crimibe protected, as an infant amusement. nals are indeed a meaningless category
It is a matter of great regret that, to many in a democracy. Says 'the while considerable time has been de- good Gray Poet' in voicing the New voted by the legislators to sport, they America: — neglected to pass an Act, presented with almost providential forethought
To me any Judge or juror is equally criminal,
and any respectable person, and also the by Representative Eaches — namely
President is. the Act allowing fishing on Sunday with one line and two hooks.
In fact in a democracy the popular, A great advance in the direction and therefore the true, idea is that of welfare has also been made in the what is disagreeable by the Vox Populi creation of holidays, which increase, is criminal by Vox Dei. What, thereand never diminish. In general, idle- fore, shall be done with bores, and ness is of benefit to a nation; Aristotle talkative people, who perhaps outsays that leisure is the first object of number the criminals, and often incite the legislator — which is one of the to crime? For those who believe that few judgments in which ancient and comfort and health-giving environmodern sentiment agrees. Much of ment are necessary to civilization, this advantage is lost, unless leisure the bore is a menace, not only to conis made universal and compulsory. temporaries but still more to succeedAs the law stands now, a man maying ages. What particular bêtes noires work or not on a holiday, as he pleases, should be prevented from intruding and so it happens that certain people, their posterity upon the next generaanimated by aggressive self-interest, tion should be decided by a mixed and a plentiful lack of social instinct, commission made up of both sexes work on holidays, and thereby gain and all parties, so that no mistake an advantage over their fellows; this could be made. destroys the balance of equality, which For the improvement of the race is so essential in a free country. A law also, it would be well to enact laws should therefore be passed, preventing based upon the laws formerly in vogue work on any part of a legal holiday. in many cities of Germany, preventing
of welfare or holidaysIn generaristotle
number the for those ha giving