Imágenes de páginas

sent dans une fiévre continuelle entre la crainte des lois et des besoins toujours renaissans; leur vie ainsi depouillée de tout ce qui pourroit donner du prix, ne vaudroit pas la peine d'être conservée, si ce n'étoit pour la jouissance de quelques plaisirs furtifs auxquels ils ne peuvent pas arriver que par des crimes. Vol. iv. p. 239.

There is a very important chapter on Transportation to Botany Bay, in which M. Bentham points out, with great perspicuity, the radical and incurable defects with which this practice is attended. The chapter is a compressed view of two printed (though not published) letters, which were addressed by the author to Lord Pelham, in 1802, at the time when that nobleman filled the office of Secretary of State for the Home Department.

We can only allow ourselves to mention very briefly the subjects of the remaining books. The third treats of Private Punishments, or Forfeitures. The principal modes of punishment that come under this denomination, are comprised in the loss of some possession, either incorporeal or corporeal. The essence of a punishment that affixes a stain on the character of its object, such, for example, as the pillory, consists in depriving him, as far as may be, of the chance that he might otherwise have had of being benefited by what the author terms the inexigible services of persons at large. This subject is treated of at length in the chapter entitled, Punishments of the Moral Sanction. Another kind of forfeitures is loss of legal reputation, inflicted by refusing evidence, in judicial cases, to those who have been found guilty of particular crimes, In the consideration of pecuniary forfeitures, the author

pursues the same course as in the case of corporal punishments.

The fourth book treats of Mis-placed Punishments, in which it is very satisfactorily proved—what to those who are not versed in the peculiarities of our criminal dispensations might seem somewhat unnecessary-that, whenever an offence has been committed, the punishment ought to be made to fall upon the delinquent himself, and, as far as possible, upon him alone. This part of the work embraces the consideration of Corruption of Blood, and its attendant consequences; and we would strongly recommend the perusal of it to those who are not already convinced, by reason or by observation, of the cruel injustice which, without any particle of benefit to the crown, is liable to fali upon innocent individuals, by the preservation of this originally efficient, but now completely inefficient, con. trivance for producing misery.*

* Bexon, in his “ Parallele du Code Penal d'Angleterre avec les Lois penales Françaises,". (p. 102) remarks, that it is a striking singularity that the English, when they took possession of Calais, abolished the system of The fifth and last book is intitled Complex Punishments, and treats of felony and excommunication.

It will be observed, that the object of the work of which we have given the above slight sketch, is not to determine the quantity of punishinent that ought to be annexed to each particular offence; this belonging to an entirely distinct work, the Penal Code; but, as a very needful preliminary to that work, to lay down the rules by which the quantity ought to be regulated, and to shew the particular kinds of punishment that may be most advantageously employed. The great benefit that may be expected to accrue from such a publication is, that this branch of science will be rescued from the grasp of those who have hitherto arrogated to themselves the exclusive cognizance of it; but who, so far from having shewn any disposition to contribute towards its improvement, have invariably repelled any efforts made for that purpose by others. To whatever extent, however, the opinions of the author may be adopted, we are not so sanguine as to expect, nor indeed is it to be wished, that any sudden and radical reformation should be made in our system of criminal jurisprudence. For the placing this subject upon its truly righteous footing, many important alterations are requisite in the system of procedure belonging to this branch of the law. Before the legislator can establish a due proportion between crimes and punishments, it is essentially necessary that he should be enabled to calculate, with a tolerable degree of accuracy, whether the punishment he denounces will ever come to be affixed. We have hitherto attempted to reniedy a barbarous and ill contrived system of punishment, not by the adoption of more enlightened principles, but by rendering its rigours less intolerable, and correcting excessive severity by the introduction of excessive uncertainty. We still talk, however, with as much confidence as ever, when any alteration is proposed to be made by the legislature in the penal code, of adhering to the wise regulations established by our ancestors, apparently unconscious of the entire subversion that, in this aukward and preposterous manner, those regulations have been made to undergo. As a great judge has very truly observed, penal laws have been almost invariably enacted on the spur of the occasion. The confusion and absurdity that have thus been introduced into the punitive system, can only be known to those who have had to observe its striking peculiarities. Will it be believed, that at this day the punishment denounced against a man for abbreviating a pig's tail is the forfeitures for crimes. which was at that time operative in France, and at the same time have to this day preserved it for their own benefit in full vi. gour.

same as for the murder of one of his fellow-creatures, with whatever circumstances of atrocity connected? Or, that for stealing to the value of six shillings, from a shop, a woman is, at a niost enormous expence to the country, banished for life* to the antipodes? We mention these instances, not, by any means, as a fair sample of the whole system of penal jurisprudence, but in order to shew that a code in which there is so much inconsistency, such undeniable disregard of all proportion between punishments and offences, is not greatly wronged, when it is stated to be susceptible of improvement, and to stand in need of a thorough investigation.

But we have reserved to ourselves a very small space for perhaps the most original and interesting of thescvolumes—we Diean the one which treats of Rewards.

The source of reward and the source of punishment Mr. B. contends, is identical : the material of both is evil; nor can the imposition of either be justified, except by the prospect of preponderant good. Thus they are also identical in their object; the end of both being to increase the sum of human happiness, the one by preventing the existence of causes by which it is liable to be diminished, the other by the production of such actions as are calculated to make additions to its positive amount.

The fund of reward is found to consist of~l. the matter of wealth :-2. honour:-3. power :-an: 4. exemptions. The materials, out of which the several species of the matter of good are formed, the author proceeds to shew, is the burthen imposed,-in short, the evil or the puvishmentaffised upon others. This is more distinctly an. I obviously the case when the matter of reward consists of wealth or exemption, than in either of the two other components. If it be admitted, as few probably will deny, that taxes are an evil, and that partial exemptions render necessary the imposition of an encreased burthen upon others, it is equally indisputable that no pecuniary reward cail be conferred, (we mean of course by the state,) on one iudividual, without at the same time inflicting on all the rest of the coinmunity who contribute to the payment of taxes, the matter of punishnient. This may see:n to be no new discovery; and yet in all the discussions on this subject, we have hitherto met with, we scarcely ever remember the question to have been distinctly put-whether a less evil would not be sustained by uffering the service in question to pass unrewarded, than would accrue from rewarding it. * We believe the instances to be extremely rare in which any

female convict transported to Botany Bay has found her way back to this country. For the return of either sex, indeed, no provision is made by Government, and in what manner the female is to realize a fund for the payment of her. passage hoine, is not very obvious.

There is another point of view in which our author considers the subject of reward, and one which he deems of cardinal importance. It seems to be sufficiently well understood and acknowledged, that a man is not punished solely because he has committed this or that specified act of delinquency, but in order that others may be deterred from similar offences. Now ubis, Mr. B. contends, is equally true with respect to reward. It is not because this or that particular reward has been performed that a man is rewarded, but that others may have a motive presented to them for performing the like services. Aud he is of opinion that, were the subject duiy contemplated under this aspect, by those to whom the state entrusts the disposition of its resources, it would, in numerous instances, both determine the nature of the reward to be bestowed, and set limits to its amount.

Having laid down the rules of proportion between rewards and services, as before, between punishments and offences, and pointed out the qualities desirable in a specified apportionmeni of reward, the autbor, (Book I. chapter 12.) asks, Why there should not be a regular system of procedure for the conferring of rewards as well as for the infliction of punishments. He observes that we have for some time felt the necessity of regu. lating punishments ;-we shall next proceed to pardons-and finish with rewards. He says,

• Il est d'usage á Rome, avant de canoniser un Saint, de nommer, pour plaider contre lui, un Avocat qu'en style familier, on appelle l'Avocat du Diable: si cet Avocat eut toujours été fidele á son client, le calendrier seroit un peu moins rempli. * Quoiqu'il en soit, l'idée en elle meme est excellente, et c'est un emprunt que la politique doit faire à la religion.

Pierre le Grand qui voulut passer successivement du grade de Tanabour à celui de General n'en prit aucun sans avoir produit ses titres en forme. Le Diable il est vrai n'avoit point d'Avocat contre un Empereur, mais quand ses titres auroient été aussi peu fondés qu'ils étoient solides, qu'elle plus belle leçon pouvoit-il donner que de se soumettre à les produire ?

• En Angleterre lorsqu'un particulier revendique, a titre de succession, une pairie durmante, le Procureur du Roi est chargé d'examiner tout ce qui peut invalider son titre. Pourquoi n'a-t-il pas le même emploi lorsqu'il s'agit de créer une nouvelle pairie ? Craindroit on que l'Avocat du Díable n'eut quelquefois trop beau jeu? (+)" Vol. II. p. 96.

(*) Le Pape Urbain VIII. ayant souffert quelques mauvais procédés d'une grande famille de Rome disoit à ses amis-Questa gente è molto ingrata. Io hò beatificato uno de loro parenti, che non lo meritava. [Jortins Miscellauies.]

(+) Si les Pairs ont un intérêt à ne pas laisser porter atteinte à la valeur de leur office par des intrus sans mérite, le public a un intérêt plus important au choix des individus qui reçoivent une portiou du pouvoir souverain.

Mais s'il y a des raisons politiques pour donner an Roi le privilege de créer des Pairs sanscontrole (par exemple, pour conserver la ballance du pouvoir), là questiou se presente sous un autre aspect, c'est un exarnen qui appartient au droit constitutionel.


The next book treats of salaries. These, it is contended, are not so much to be considered as rewards for the performance of the duties attached to the office, as inducements to undertake those duties.

• Que le salaire oblige l'employé a remplir ses devoirs jusqu'à un certain point, c'est ce qu'on ne nie pas: puisqu'il peut le perdu par les cmissions trop marquées, des negligences trop manifestes. Mais s'il n'a d'autre motif que le salaire, tout se bornera a sauver les apparences, autant qu'il le faut pour n'etre pas en prise. Or, c'est là ce qu'on observe dans tous les offices, où le Gouvernement n'ayant compté que sur la force de ce moyen, n'a pris aucune autre mesure pour unir l'intérêt avec le devoir. La plupart des services, n'etant pas susceptibles d'etre déterminés avec précision dependent beaucoup de la libre volonté des employés. Au milieu d'un mouvement qui ressemble au travail, on se livre à mille destractions inutiles, que l'inspecteur le plus diligent ne sauroit noter. L'absence marque, mais l'oisiveté,

arque pas. La lenteur produite par l'ennui et le dégout, n'a point de caractere qui la distingue de celle qui nâit du defaut de capacité ou de la difficulté des travaux. Le service exige-t-il le concours de plusieurs individus ?' l'absence d'un seul pallie ou nécessité la suspension de toutes les affaires. Un inspecteur en chef exerce une grande influence, mais il redoute le role d'un censeur pointilleux, il se lasse de remontrances inutiles ; et s'il n'a lui meme d'autre motif que le salaire, tout s'arrange aisement ; une intelligence secrète s’etablit entre le chef et les subalternes, en sorte que plus les choses vont mal, moins le mal parôit. C'est là ce qui explique ce více interne de tant d'etablissements où regnent la langueur et l'imperitié, où l'on opère si peu avec de si grand moyens, où les employés eux mêmes, attachés à une routine servile et oiseuse, opposent les plus puissans obstacles a toutes les reformes. Tout ces abus deviennent, entre les intéressés, des secrets de franc maçonnerie. Çelui que oseroit les reveler ou les combättre seroit l'ennemi commun, et son devouement l'exposeroit a une sorte d'excommunication. « Je ne nie pas

l'influence des sentiment d'honneur et de probité, surtout dans les situations elévées qui placent un homme en vue mais ces motives sont étrangers au salaire : dès qu'il est toujours le même pour des services bien ou mal rendus, il est clair que s'ils sont bien rendus, ce n'est pas au salaire qu'il faut l'attribuer.'

As a remedy to this inconvenience, the author proposes several regulations respecting salaries; one of which is that the emoluments should be so attached to the office, as most intimately to connect the duty of those employed, with their interest. The mode in which this is to be accomplished is, by paying the functionary daily, at the seat of his employment; and, to avoid breaking down the salary into inconveniently minute portions, it is proposed, that, instead of the money itself, tokens should be delivered to be converted into money at stated periods. It is thus that the Directors of the Life Insurance Society were paid, and that it was designed to pay the superintendants of the once proposed, but never realized, Penitentiary Houses.

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