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that they are known so much as by name to any but their next neighbours. Those that are found guilty of theft among them, are bound to make restitution to the owner, and not, as it is in other places, to the prince, for they reckon that the prince has no more right to the stolen goods than the thief; but if that which was stolen is no more in being, then, the goods of the thieves are estimated, and restitution being made out of them, the remainder is given to their wives and children: and they themselves are condemned to serve in the public works, but are neither imprisoned, nor chained, unless there happened to be some extraordinary circumstances in their crimes. They go about loose and free, working for the public: if Uey are idle or backward to work, they are whippeil, but if they work hard, they are well used and treated without any mark of reproach, only the lists of them are called always at night, and then they are shut up: they suffer no other uncasiness, but this of constant labour; furas they work for the public, so they are well entertained out of the public stock, which is done differently in different places; in some places, whatever is bestowed upon them, is raised by a charitable contribution; and though this way may seein uncertain, yet so merciful are the inclinationis of that people, that they are plentifully supplied by it; but in other places, public revenues are set aside for them; or there is a constant tax of a pollmoney raised for their maintenance. In some places they are set to no public work, butevery private man that has occasion to hire workmen, goes to the market place and hires them of the public, a little lower than he would do a freeman : if they go lazily about their task, he may quicken them with the whip. By this means there is always some piece of work or other to be done by them; and, beside their livelihood, tlcy earn somewhat still to the public. They all wear a peculiar habit, of one certain colour, and their hair is çropt a little above their ears, and a piece of one of their ears is cut off. Their friends are allowed to give them either mcat, drink, or cloaths,
sell the cattle dear, so if they are consumed farther than the. breeding countries from which they are brought, can afford them; then the stock must decrease, and this must needs end in great scarcity; and by these means this your island, which seemed as to this particular, the happiest in the world, will suffer much by the cursed avarice of a few persons; besides this, the rising of corn makes all people lessen their families as much as they can; and what can those who are dismissed by them do, but either beg or rob? And to this last, a man of a great mind is much sooner drawn than to the former. Luxury likewise breaks in apace upon you, to set forward your poverty and misery; there is an excessive vanity in apparel, and great cost in diet; and that not only in noblemen's families, but even among tradesmen; among the farmers themselves, and among all ranks of persons. You have also many infa • mous houses, and besides those that are known, the taverns and ale-houses are no better; add to these, dice, cards, tables, foota ball, tennis, and coits, in which money runs fast away; and those that are initiated into them, must in the conclusion betake themselves to robbing for a supply. Banish these plagues, and give orders that those who have dispeopled so much soil, may either rebuild the villages they have pulled down, or let out their grounds to such as will do it: restrain those engrossings of the rich, that are as bad almost as monopolies; leave fewer occasions to idleness ; let agriculture be set up again, and the manufacture of the wool be regulated, that so there may be work found for those companies of idle people, whom want forces to be thieves, or who now being idie vagabonds, or useless servants, will certainly grow thieves at last. If you do not find a remedy to these evils, it is a vain thing to boast of your severity in punishing theft; which though it may have the appearance of justice, yet in itself is neither just nor, convenient: for if you suffer your people to be ill educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes, to which their first education
disposed them, what else is be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves, and then punish them?
While I was talking thus, the counsellor who was present had prepared an answer, and had resolved to resume all I had said, according to the formality of a debate, in which things are generally repeated more faithfully than they are answered ; as if the chief trial to be made, were of men's memories. You havetalked prettily fora stranger, said he, having heard of many things among us, which you have not been able to consider well : but I will make the whole matter plain to you, and will first repeat in order all that you have said, then I will shew how much your ignorance of our affairs has misled you, ani) will in the last place answer all your arguments. And that I may begin where I promised, there were four things—hold your peace, said the cardinal, this will take up too much time; therefore we will at present ease you of the trouble of answering, and reserve it to our next mecting, which shall be to-morrow, if Raphael's affairs and your's can admit of it: but Ra. phael, said he to me, I would gladly know upon what reason it is, that you think theft ought not to be punished by death ? Would you give way to it? Or do you propose any other pu. nishment that will be more useful to the public? For since death does not restrain theft, if men thought their lives would be safe, what fear or force could restrain ill men? On the contrary, they would look on the mitigation of the punishment, as an invitation to commit more crimes. I answered, it seems to me a very unjust thing to take away a man's life for a little money ; for nothing in the world can be of equal value withia man's life: and if it is said, that it is not for the money that one suffers, but for his breaking the law; I must say, extreme justice is an extreme injury: for we ought not to approve of these terrible laws that make the smallest offences capital; nor of that opinion of the stoicks, that makes all crimes equal, as if there were no difference to be made between the killing a
man, and the taking his purse, between which, if we examine things impartially, there is no likeness nor proportion. God has commanded us not to kill, and shall we kill so easily for a little money? But if one shall say, that by that law we are only forbid to kill any, except when the laws of the land allow of it ; upon the same grounds, laws may be made in some cases to allow of adultery and perjury: för God having taken from us the right of disposing, either of our own, or of other peoples lives, if it is pretended that the mutual consent of men in making laws, can authorize manslaughter in cases in whichi God has given us no example, that it frees people from the obligation of the divine law, and so makes murder a lawful action; what is this, but to give a preference to human laws before the divine? And if this is once adınitted, by the same rule, men may in all other things put what restrictions they please upon the laws of God. If by the Mosaical law, thougli it was rough and severe, as being a yoke laid upon an obstinate and servile nation, men were only finer, and not put to death for theft; we cannot imagine that in this new law of mercy, in which God treats us with the tenderness of a father, he has given us a greater licence to cruelty than he did to the Jews. Upon these reasons, it is that I think putting thieves to death is not lawful; and it is plain and obvious that it is absurd, and of ill consequence to the commonwealth, that a tbief and a murderer should be equally punished : for if a robber sees that his danger is the same, if he is convicted of theft, as if he were guilty of murder, this will naturally incite him to kill the person whom otherwise he would only have robbed, since if the punishment is the same, there is more security, and less danger of discovery, when he that can best make it is put out of the way; so that terrifying thičves too much; provokes them 'to cruelty.
But as to the question, what more convenient way of punishtnént can be found : I think that it is much more casy to find
out that, than to invent any thing that is worse; why should we doubt but the way that was so long in use among the old Romans, who understood so well the arts of government, was very proper for their punishment? They condemned such as they found guilty of great crimes, to work their whole lives in quarries, or to dig in mines with chains about them. But the method that I liked best, was that which I observed in my travels in Persia, among the Polylerits, who are a considerable and well governed people. They pay a yearly tribute to the king of Persia ; but in all other respects they are a free nation, and governed by their own laws. They lie far from the sea, and are environed with hills; and being contented with the productions of their own country, which is very fruitful, they have little commerce with any other nation ; and as they, according to the genius of their country, have no inclination to enlarge their borders, so their mountains, and the pension they pay to the Persian, secure them from all invasions. Thus they have no wars among them; they live rather conveniently than with splendour, and may be rather called an happy nation, than either eminent or famous; for I do not think that they are known so much as by name to any but their next neighbours. Those that are found guilty of theft among them, are bound to make restitution to the owner, and not, as it is in other places, to the prince, for they reckon that the prince has no more right to the stolen goods than the thief; but if that which was stolen is no more in being, then the goods of the thieves are estimated, and restitution being made out of them, the remainder is given to their wives and children : and they themselves are condemned to serve in the public works, but are neither imprisoned, nor chained, unless there happened to be some extraordinary circumstances in their crimes. They go about loose and free, working for the public : if they are idle or backward to work, they are whipped, but if they work hard, they are well used and treated without any mark of reproach, only the lists of them are called always at night, and then they are shut up: they suffer no