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lives for one murder? Is it right to inflict the same amount of punishment on two criminals, varying materially in the degrees of guilt? Are the spectators of gibbet exhibitions elevated in sentiment and rendered more capable of living holy lives? Is it the best way to heal one injury by perpetrating another injury? Should human life be taken on the unstable basis of circumstantial evidence? Are fallible tribunals equal to irrevocable decrees? Is it right for a finite being to inflict a punishment infinite in duration? Has any being but the God who gave life any right to take it away? Will any circumstance justify one human being in the exercise of that awful prerogative of God--the dispossessing another human being of his existence? Can man be improved by horror or fear? Is fear the strongest passion of the human mind? And if not, how can we deter criminals committing crimes by merely appealing to their fears? Has not the diminution of capital punishments been accompanied by a diminution of capital crimes? Has not the abolition of death-punishments for murder in several countries tended to the decrease of that fearful crime? Have not a great number of persons been executed who were completely innocent of the crimes imputed to them? Would those who defend the gallows perform, if need be, the office of Jack Ketch? Do they think the office of Jack Ketch a Christian one? Would it have been proper for Christ to have filled such an office? Do they not start back aghast when I ask the question? Then why advocate a thing which is so truly unchristian? Do they not hear the rotten timbers of the gallows creaking and wailing their speedy destruction? EDITOR.
THE LEVER OF LIFE.
A TALE OF MODERN TIMES.
PASSING along Shoreditch, eastward, and turning away to the right through Church-street, we enter one of those vast, filthy, densely populated, and demoralized districts, which render London no less remarkable for its abject poverty and degradation, than it is for
its boundless wealth and civilisation. We are in the midst of a labyrinth of streets, lanes, and alleys, deep in mud, grimed, blackened, and disfigured with accumulated filth. The houses old and dilapidated, with battered windows and broken casements; the atmosphere heavy and damp, charged with intolerable odours from reeking drains and gutters, loaded with every species of decaying and offensive matter. We are in the district of fever and of gin, of everything most inimical to health, physical and moral-we are in Bethnal Green.
Judging from external appearances, a stranger would conclude that none but the vilest and most depraved of the community would herd together in the midst of such abominations. It seems impossible to believe that honest, toiling industry can be doomed to gasp out a miserable existence, amid such utter and hopeless wretchedness.
"I must be mistaken; surely none of my father's work-people can live here," said a tall fair girl, elegantly dressed, as she referred, with a saddened and perplexed look, to a letter which she took from her reticule; but in which, though the handwriting gave evidence of a sadly defective education, the address was still clear enough, "Mary Millicent, Green."
"Who b'ye lookin' for, marm?" exclaimed something more like a bundle of rags than a human being, squatting beside a door-step, with a few boxes of lucifer matches in her lap. "We don't often see the likes of you in these parts; but maybe you're a wantin' some'un as I knows."
The woman spoke roughly, but not disrespectfully, for the poor have often an intuitive perception of character, and there was something in the gentle loving countenance of Helen Angus, that seemed as a sure index of a warm and generous heart.
"I am trying to find a family of the name of Millicent," said Helen kindly; "they live I believe somewhere in this street, but I am a stranger here, and cannot make out exactly how the numbers run."
"Millicent, Millicent," said the woman;
THE LEVER OF LIFE.
"there was a young chap, Tom Millicent, as the p'lice grabbed t'other day in Bonner's-fields; he cum from somewhere hereabouts; his father's a weaver, and's been down in the fever."
"That's the family," said Helen; "there is a daughter, I believe, who is employed as a needlewoman. Can you show me were they live?"
"You'll find them over the way marm, somewhere near where them children's a playin' in the gutter."
As the woman extended her hand to point in the direction she had given, Helen slipt into it a piece of money, and passed quickly on.
"God bless you for a dear good lady," exclaimed the poor creature, to whom a silver coin, however small, was a treasure of rare occurrence; "would that there was more like ye in the land; ye little know what ye could do in a place like this: and the kind look does a poor body's heart good."
With a little assistance from one of the children, tempted from the gutter by the prospect of earning a penny, Helen soon found herself in a small court, turning out of the street, containing about a dozen wretched houses, the upper rooms of which were lighted from long casements of diamond-shaped glass, from which issued the monotonous burr of the silk weavers' looms. Her ragged little guide conducted her into the passage of one of these houses, and shouting at the foot of the stairs, "Here's a lady wants Mr. Millicent," darted away to exhibit with boisterous exultation the penny which he had so easily earned.
cilled the walls with black mildewy streaks, and the stairs were in many places broken away, so that Helen felt her footing by no means secure. As she reached the first landing, she heard a door above opened, and a child's voice exclaimed, "Who's that wants father?"
Helen again ascended, and ascertaining from the child, a little boy about seven years of age, that his name was Millicent, she entered the room. Close to the window stood the weaver's loom; between it and the small fire-place stood an old high-backed deal chair, in which was propped up a sickly pallid-looking man, somewhat past the middle age of life, so thin and hollow-cheeked, and with his eye so deeply sunken that he seemed to be trembling, as indeed he had been, on the very brink of the grave. He had, however, survived a wasting attack of fever, and had been pronounced by the parish doctor out of immediate danger.
"You must feed him up as well as you can, and get him out in the fresh air when he can bear it," said the man of physic to Mary Millicent, as he took his leave of her on the previous Monday. Poor Mary wept bitterly as he turned his back, for his prescriptions sounded little better than hollow mockery in her ears. The loss of her father's earnings, and the scanty pittance she could gain by her needle had reduced them to the lowest ebb of want. Bread, with now and then a little tea, had been their only food for weeks, and even this in quantities insufficient for their daily necessities.
Helen's heart quailed as she found Mary was seated near her father, busily herself for the first time in the pre- engaged with her needle, a pile of shirts sence of such fearful indications of standing on the little round table want and wretchedness. Not that it beside her. She was finishing the last was a new task to her to visit the poor; of a dozen which had occupied her five but residing as she did out of London, days, working thirteen hours a-day, and she had found even the poorest hovels, for this she would receive three shillings generally surrounded at least by an ex- on the following morning; and out of ternal atmosphere that was pure and this wretched pittance she had expendhealthy, compared with the dark, op-ed sixpence for thread and candles. She pressive gloom, and faint sickly air which pervaded all around her here. The staircase up which she ascended was narrow, the banister broken, and half the rails gone. The combined influence of damp and smoke had sten
turned as Helen entered, and rising, coloured deeply as she hastened to pour out her thanks and apologies. "Oh! Miss Angus," said she, "I was so afraid you would be angry with me for writing to you; but indeed I would not
have done it for myself, only father has been so very ill, and it was so very, very hard to have nothing to give him that would do him good. I have worked as hard as I could; but wages are very low, and I couldn't earn enough to get half that the doctor ordered. Once, when I was at the warehouse, you stopped with your mamma in the carriage at the door, and I heard you speak so kindly to a poor little lame girl that had brought some work from her mother, and happened to stand near the carriage. It is not often that we get spoken to like that; and often after, when I watched my father in the fever, and the little ones cried for food, I thought I could hear the sound of your voice, and the word of pity you spoke to the poor lame child, and I thought that perhaps you wouldn't be angry if I told you how bad we were off; so I asked one of the young women at the warehouse, and they told me where you lived; so I wrote, but indeed I never thought of bringing you here-pray forgive me if I was too bold."
Divine wisdom has framed laws as beautiful as they are simple and practical. He has written them by the finger of inspiration-He enforces them by the teachings of experience-He implants in every heart the power to understand and fulfil them. "Love is the fulfilling of the law;" but the love of what?-of gold, of power, of self? Nay! but the love of God, and the broad comprehensive love of universal humanity. Why, with all the wonderful resources which our country enjoys, the result of her energy and success in business, have we such gaunt, desperate, despairing poverty in our midst—why the deepening abyss of crime and degradation unequalled in the most savage states of barbarism-why do we see labour in its thousand attitudes of want and supplication struggling to maintain life in the midst of luxurious and wealthy cities, doing battle with hard, griping penury, amidst fruitful fields and valleys teeming with beauty and fertility? Why, but because men of power and of business, whose love should be universal, narrow down their senses and their sympathies to the service of one object, and that object is We live in a business age. To obtain the self. They regard their neighbours, not character of a thorough man of business, as men and women to be served, but to is to obtain a passport to the admiration be used. Their solicitude is not how and confidence of mankind. There is no much happiness they can confer, but volume studied with more intense and how much they can extract-not how laborious devotion than the Ledger- much good they can do to others, but how no pursuit so fascinating and absorbing much they can compel others to do for as that of making money. We are not them. This is the working of a heartabout to enter any protest against busi- less system of trade machinery, but ness men, and business habits. The should never be the policy of a Chrisage needs them; and their energies, tian man of business. Look, then, to wisely directed, contribute largely to it as you launch in life, that your stock the public good; but the age also de- ledger has no other entries than mere mands that they should really be busi- money debits. God entrusts you with ness men, and not business machines. a capital of time, intelligence, energy, He who gives up all the faculties and influence, and human sympathy, which powers, all the time, and all the energy are to be as conscientiously invested with which God has endowed him to and employed in His service as the the pursuit of wealth, to his counting- material wealth, with which he endows house or his counter, may be an excel- you to be trafficked with, is your lent business machine; as a thing of own; and never forget that when your figures, weights, and measures, he may last balance-sheet shall have been closed be first-rate-but the higher attributes on earth, however satisfactory may of his manhood are gone; for the high- be its testimony to your ability and est privilege is to be the steward of success in the conduct of the business God, not the slave of self. For the machine-there is yet another account "nment of the great human family, ❘ to be audited, the account of your man
MEN OF BUSINESS.
BY EDMUND ERY.
THE UNDEVELOPED RESOURCES OF ENGLAND.
hood-every item and entry of which has been written with omniscient truthfulness and justice. You are not commanded to be careless and indifferent to your interest; but you are commanded not to be careless and indifferent to the welfare of others. You are to be more solicitous for the brotherhood than the servitude of your fellow-men -to live, not at the expense of those around you, but to the advancement of their welfare-to strive to be a better, rather than a richer, man than your neighbours; in a word, to practice that wisest of all selfishness-to live for the public good.
THE UNDEVELOPED RESOURCES
BY THOS. BEGGS.
Ir is a favourable time when attention
whose thoughts have been already turned in a similar direction.
It has been repeatedly held forth that the cultivation of the waste lands would greatly relieve the high pressure of competition which affects all kinds of labour. At any rate, employment might be found upon them for many of the agricultural labourers, who are engaged in a perpetual struggle for a meagre subsistence, and who are always alternating between independent labour and the poorhouse. By finding work for this class, by keeping in the rural districts the young and able-bodied, who under present circumstances crowd into the large towns, and compete there for every kind of unskilled labour, we should relieve our town populations. There has been no lack of plans for the attainment of such an end. Those of Mr. Owen and Mr. Morgan, it may be said, are not adapted to the present condition of society, whatever they may be in the future. Allotment systems have been tried, and most of the experiments have either entirely failed, or they have brought advantages in too small a scale to ensure general imitation. Any scheme, which purposes to
take the artizan and mechanic from his workshop and usual occupation, and transplant him to an acre or two of land, must fail. We have had a recent proof of this. It does not follow, however, because premature measures have failed, that none others will succeed. It is surely possible that a scheme may be devised, suited to the spirit of the people, and endowed with the elements of success. In order that it should fully succeed, it must be based upon sound commercial principles. We may briefly suggest the leading features of such a plan.
We may first explain what is generally admitted, that a very small portion of the soil in England is cultivated to the extent that science has shewn to be practicable. There are large quantities left wholly undrained and uncultivated. Mr. Porter, in his Progress of the Nation, states, "that if all England were as well cultivated as Northumberland and Lincoln, it would produce more than double the quantity that is now obtained." And Mr. Alison somewhere
speaks of Great Britain being capable, by improvement in agriculture, of sustaining more than ten times its present amount of inhabitants. We shall be willing to take a much more reasonable calculation. In Great Britain and Ireland there are 77,394,433 acres of land; 46,522,970 acres of which are in a state of cultivation, 15,871,463 acres are considered unprofitable, and 15,000,000 acres are uncultivated, but capable of profitable cultivation. A wise economy would point to this immense field, on which to find employment for what is sometimes called our surplus labourers. We have no surplus labour if our opportunities were improved. What can be thought of a policy which allows the land to remain unproductive, while the labourer who would be glad to earn wages by tilling it, is idle. He must be fed, however, and he becomes a burthen upon the poor-rate. The manure that would enrich it is, by another system of waste, cast into our rivers, generating fever and disease. Why should not the labour and the land be brought together? The true means of adding to the national wealth is that of increasing the food of the people. Numbers of those subsisting upon charity, might be made producers of food, which food could be exchanged for manufactures. The pauper converted into a labourer, or what is still better, the labourer who is prevented from becoming a pauper, is so much clear gain to the community. By his remaining an independent labourer, the cost of maintenance is saved, he adds his industry to the stock of production, and becomes a consumer to a much greater extent. These men would increase the supply of food and the demand for labour. Why not take some of the property under the control of the Woods and Forests, which has been proved to be a loss rather than a gain to the revenue, and devote it for the purpose of an actual experiment?
THE HOME OF TASTE.
BY EDWIN PAXTON HOOD.
THE nobles of England long since carried Taste of some sort into their gardens and their halls; their alcoves and
groves are relieved by many a nymph and satyr wrought from the marble or the stone; and their long galleries have long since been decorated with the most precious gems of the pencil and the chisel. Every nobleman's residence has for years possessed its library, and also a room called by courtesy a study! The wealth of the noble owner could instantly command whatever the heart had coveted of beautiful, or graceful, or glorious; while the very opulence of the mansion not infrequently prevented its artistic features from conveying any impressions to the senses, or instructions to the intellect. But can we not make the home of the labourer-of the poor counting-house clerk-of the humble tradesman- -a Home of Taste also? May not such a place be a mansion for all lovely forms? May not the spiritual life, the intellectual discipline, shine on its walls? May not the consecrating elegancies of gentleness, the thrilling charms and powers of heroism and of beauty, in all their robing of instruction, be brought to the children of humble life. What deceiving spirit told the wealthy and the noble that the power of admiration was alone conferred on them? That the enchantments and the raptures of Nature were reserved for them alone. I do not believe it. I believe that the truest enjoyments which a cultivated taste can bestow, may frequently be spread in ample profusion for the more lowly children of our race. I believe that a true and sympathetic taste depends greatly on the state of the moral feelings. The intellect is refined and intensified by its moral associations; and it is matter of little doubt to my own mind that the lower fields of life contain the noblest illustrations and exhibitions of moral loveliness. Vulgarity is surely not confined to the workshop. Wherever bad manners colour the life, it is impossible there can be a Home of Taste; the materials of taste may be there, but the soul that frequents it is lost to the sense of enjoyment. To the man who whirls through midnight orgies, for whom the jockey and the gambler are companions, who lives almost solely for the purpose of flattering and adorning his body with the empty vanities of perishable fash