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Justice and Compensation. They certainly fail to perceive that a wrong once committed can never be undone and never be recompensed; that, though those who have made the mistake may have done all in their power to rectify it, very much remains undone. The misery caused may be partially alleviated, but there is no complete remedy,—so far as the doer of the injustice is concerned-for the wrong. That lasts to the end of time. Lax notions on this point are, perhaps, not surprising among a people whose favourite evidence of immortality is that men and women suffer here and must, therefore, be recompensed hereafter; as though, if the sufferings be a wrong done to them, eternity itself could ever wipe it out.
Thirdly. The opponents of the death punishment have made much capital out of the cases which are cited above. They have urged, rightly enough, that, while an inadequate compensation is possible so long as the victim lives, the case is hopeless after he is put to death. But it is noteworthy that much of this agitation against hanging is no more than a too sentimental dread of death. After Perryman was condemned, meetings were held, petitions were drawn up and great efforts were made to procure a respite. The ground of these efforts was that a number of persons really thought Perryman was innocent. They procured strong evidence that the woman had hung herself and that the only part in the tragedy taken by her son was to cut her down and endeavour to restore her. As a result, the sentence was commuted to penal servitude for life. As soon as this modification of the penalty was secured, the agitation collapsed. Not that the agitaters had changed their minds and come to the conclusion that, after all, Perryman was guilty, but, the nervous dread of death having been removed, the stimulus was gone. Nevertheless, if these agitators were right-and if they were not, the murder was the most heartless imaginable—a terrible injustice is day by day continuing. So far as Perryman is personally concerned he is
probably, if innocent, worse off than before, for it cannot be believed that, after death, any punishment would be inflicted on him for wrongs of which he was not guilty. If movements of this kind were thorough the change in sentence would only be welcomed as giving more time to secure the ultimate object, the liberation of a man unjustly convicted by a jury of his countrymen.
Mr. Peacock's Poems.-It is hoped that the subscription list for the proposed volume of Selections can be closed shortly, and the work, which is intended for the benefit of Mr. Peacock's widow, put into the hands of the printer. For this, however, a good many additional names are wanted, and persons who have not already subscribed should not delay to do so. The proposal is to issue the work to subscribers at 2s. 6d. per copy and afterwards, perhaps, to nonsubscribers at 3s. 6d. Mrs. Peacock stands in much need of whatever profit can be realized on the publication, and, as her husband was a true poet, all who proffer their assistance, if they have any love of poetry, will not only be helping in a good work but, as a mere matter of book-buying, will receive ample return for their outlay.
Proposed work by E. S. Littleton.-We learn that Mr. Littleton of the "Pantiles Papers" Office, Tunbridge Wells, is about to issue a subscription volume of his poems at 5s. per Mr. Littleton is a contributor to several of the magazines and his poetical powers have been recognized by both the public and the press in a little volume which he published last year. He is a writer of considerable promise and deserves support in this effort to advance his position in the world of letters.
Pictures and Busts as Household Ornaments. There are very few things more unpleasant than the cheap print which hangs on and is supposed to adorn the walls of many of our English cottages. Pictures of any sort, except they be really good original works of art or well executed copies, are an abomination. Good pictures are, of course, expensive and beyond the reach of most people. But it has often struck me as curious that intelligent people whose means are small, do not adorn their parlours with small busts instead of such poor specimens of the painter's art as they can afford. Some really excellent plaster busts can be bought for a trifle. I have before me two such-one of Garabaldi and one of Rousseau-by Mr. Larner Sugden of Leek. Both are really excellent and I believe he has executed one or two others equally well. Lovers of music, art and literature need have no difficulty in procuring similar likenesses of their especial favourites. Even persons who can afford good pictures and other ornaments would do well not to despise these casts on account of their cheapness.
NOTICES OF BOOKS.
PERSONAL APPEARANCES IN HEALTH AND DISEASE. London: Hardwicke and Bogue. 1879.
This book belongs to the valuable series of Health Primers which Messrs. Hardwicke and Bogue are at present issuing, and, of those which have already appeared, it is among the best. Books of domestic medicine are rarely, if ever, effectual guides to symptoms of disease. The names of diseases and of the medicines which will cure them are classified and indexed, but the indications of disease are referred to only in the various sections and under the various headings. Yet, as a rule, those who consult such works know very little about the names of the ills they suffer from or about the drugs they
ought to take. These are the very points upon which they seek to be informed. What they know is that they have certain kinds of pain, or that their appearance is unnatural. To find out what these symptoms signify they have no recourse but to wade through many pages of their "domestic guide," until by some good fortune they come upon the chapter which incidentally mentions them. Properly, such books should be classified according to the symptoms, while under each of these heads the diseases and the remedies should be specified. At anyrate a copious index should be supplied by means of which a person may know in what chapters his special sufferings are referred to.
The book before us is, of course, not medical and therefore cannot altogether cover the ground we have indicated. But so far, at least, as bodily appearances go, it serves, in part, a similar purpose. Perhaps it will be followed by another dealing with pains and their causes, in which case the two together will form a very handy and useful supplement to ordinary popular medical works. The present is well written, interesting and instructive, and is likely to prove a useful adviser in the household. Diseases are too often allowed to have their own way until they become serious for no other reason than the general ignorance of their symptoms. It is astonishing and pitiful how little even intelligent and educated parents know about the commonest tokens of disorder and how grossly they neglect their children in consequence.
A PLAN FOR THE RELIEF OF THE TRADING AND WORKING
EMPLOYMENT, by M.M.
This Pamphlet purports to be the substance of a letter addressed many years ago to the late Sir Robert Peel and published now for the consideration of the present premier. Its application is, however, to our own day and generation. The author is clearly in earnest and, though
visionary in the sense that he hopes too much, is not, in this prosaic, materialistic age, any the worse for that. That the scheme he propounds for utilizing the waste lands of England and the Colonies will ever be carried out in its entirety we do not believe, and his paper money scheme is fated to fail, because it omits to recognize the fluctuations in the value of money itself. If the country is over stocked with any commodity, the price of the article must be lowered. Not less surely will the increase in quantity of money reduce its value. Money will not buy so much as formerly. Nevertheless, there is much earnest and suggestive thought in this little work, and it would do some of our slow going, groove-loving legislators good if they were to carefully consider it. Perhaps one of its great points of merit over the usual schemes which are put forth for the amelioration of the condition of mankind is that it declines to recognize any equality between competence and incompetence. M. M's plan, if carried into effect, would be for the benefit of the industrious, not of the idle. The central feature of it is simply to provide work for those who are willing to work.
HUMAN NEEDS AND INCREDIBLE CREEDS, by E. J. S. Leek: Imprinted by the Author's License for W. L. Sugden, 29, Queen Street, Amateur Dealer in Free-thought Works: are to be sold only by Charles Watts at his shop 84 in Fleete Street, London. Anno 1879.
It is alike surprising and refreshing, in these days of degenerate printing, to see a book or pamphlet really artistic in form. For good work of this kind we must go back to the last century. Now-a-days the cry is all for what is called cheapness,-a word which signifies, to the populace, plenty of paper and printers' ink. The motto of the day in literature is Quantity, not quality. Even the works of masterminds are rarely granted a worthy setting. The little tract whose curious title we give above is an exception to the general rule,