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take it for granted, that if there be an opening in the letter of the law for folly, misapprehension, or abuse, its ministers will eagerly take advantage of it, and throw the whole frame of society into disorder and wretchedness. A very slight observation of the actual business of life might have taught him, that expediency may, for the most part, be readily and certainly discovered by those who are interested in finding it; and that in a certain stage of civilisation there is generated such a quantity of intelligence and good sense, as to disarm absurd institutions of their power to do mischief, and to administer defective laws into a system of practical equity. This indeed is the grand corrective which remedies all the errors of legislators, and retrenches all that is pernicious in prejudice. It makes us independent of technical systems, and indifferent to speculative irregularities; and he who could increase its quantity, or confirm its power, would do more service to mankind than all the philosophers that ever speculated on the means of their reformation.

In the following chapter we meet with a perplexity which, though very ingeniously produced, appears to us to be wholly gratuitous. Mr. Bentham for a long time can see no distinction between Civil and Criminal jurisprudence; and insists upon it, that rights and crimes necessarily and virtually imply each other. If I have a right to get your horse, it is only because it would be a crime for you to keep him from me; and if it be a crime for me to take your horse, it is only because you have a right to keep him. This we think is very pretty reasoning: But the distinction between the civil and the criminal law is not the less substantial and apparent. The civil law is that which directs and enjoins the criminal law is that which Punishes. This is enough for the legislator; and for those who are to obey him. It is a curious inquiry, no doubt, how far all rights may be considered as the counterpart of crimes; and whether every regulation of the civil code necessarily implies a delict in the event of its violation. On this head there is room for a good deal of speculation; but in our opinion Mr. Bentham pushes the principle much




too far. There seems to be nothing gained, for instance, either in the way of clearness or consistency, by arranging under the head of criminal law, those cases of refusal to fulfil contracts, or to perform obligations, for which no other punishment is or ought to be provided, but a compulsory fulfilment or performance. This is merely following out the injunction of the civil code, and cannot, either in law or in logic, be correctly regarded as a punishment. The proper practical test of a crime, is where, over and above the restitution of the violated right (where that is possible), the violator is subjected to a direct pain, in order to deter from the repetition of such offences.

In passing to the code of criminal law, Mr. Bentham does not forget the necessity of classifying and dividing. Delicts, according to him, are either, 1. Private, or against one or a few individuals; 2. Reflective, or against the delinquent himself; 3. Semipublic, or against some particular class or description of persons; and, finally, Public, or against the whole community. Private delicts again, relate either to the person, the property, the reputation or the condition; and they are distributed into complex and simple, principal and accessory, positive and negative, &c., &c. The chief evil of a crime is the alarm which it excites in the community; and the degree of this alarm, Mr. Bentham assumes, depends upon eight circumstances, the particular situation of the delinquent, his motives, his notoriety, his character, the difficulties or facilities of the attempt, &c. But here again, we see no sense in the enumeration; the plain fact being, that the alarm is increased by every thing which renders it probable that such acts may be frequently repeated. In one case, and one of considerable atrocity, there is no alarm at all; because the only beings who can be affected by it, are incapable of fear or suspicionthis is the case of infanticide: and Mr. Bentham ingeniously observes, that it is probably owing to this circumstance that the laws of many nations have been so extremely indifferent on that subject. In modern Europe, however, he conceives that they are barbarously severe,



In the case of certain crimes against the community, such as misgovernment of all kinds, the danger again is always infinitely greater than the alarm.

The remedies which law has provided against the mischief of crimes, Mr. Bentham says, are of four orders; preventive repressive compensatory - or simply penal. Upon the subject of compensation or satisfaction, Mr. Bentham is most copious and most original; and under the title of satisfation in honour, he presents us with a very calm, acute, and judicious inquiry into the effects of duelling; which he represents as the only remedy which the impolicy or impotency of our legislators has left for such offences. We do not think, however, that the same good sense prevails in what he subjoins, as to the means that might be employed to punish insults and attacks upon the honour of individuals. According to the enormity of the offence, he is for making the delinquent pronounce a discourse of humiliation, either standing, or on his knees, before the offended party, and clothed in emblematical robes, with a mask of a characteristic nature on his head, &c. There possibly may be countries where such contrivances might answer; but, with us, they would not only be ineffectual, but ridiculous.

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In the choice of punishments, Mr. Bentham wishes legislators to recollect, that punishment is itself an evil; and that it consists of five parts;-the evil of restraint -the evil of suffering the evil of apprehension - the evil of groundless persecution and the evils that extend to the innocent connexions of the delinquent. For these reasons, he is anxious that no punishment should be inflicted without a real cause, or without being likely to influence the will; or where other remedies might have been employed; or in cases where the crime produces less evil than the punishment. These admonitions are all very proper, and, we dare say, sincere; but we cannot think that they are in any way recommended by their novelty.

In the section upon the indirect means of preventing crimes, there is a great deal of genius and strong rea



soning; though there are many things set down in too rash and peremptory a manner, and some that are supported with a degree of flippancy not very suitable to the occasion. The five main sources of offence he thinks are, want of occupation, the angry passions, the passion of the sexes, the love of intoxication, and the love of gain. As society advances, all these lose a good deal of their mischievous tendency, excepting the last; against which, of course, the legislature should be more vigilant than ever. In the gradual predominance of the avari cious passions over all the rest, however, Mr. Bentham sees many topics of consolation; and concludes this part of his work by declaring, that it should be the great object of the criminal law to reduce all offences to that species which can be completely attoned for and repaired by payment of a sum of money. It is a part of his system, which we have forgotten to mention, that persons so injured should in all cases be entitled to reparation out of the public purse.



(JANUARY, 1804.)

Account of the Life and Writings of Thomas Reid, D.D. F. R. S., Edinburgh, late Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Glasgow. BY DUGALD STEWART, F. R. S. Edinburgh Read at different Meetings of the Royal Society at Edinburgh. 8vo. pp. 225. Edinburgh and London: 1803.

ALTHOUGH it is impossible to entertain greater respect for any names than we do for those that are united in the title of this work, we must be permitted to say, that there are many things with which we cannot agree, both in the system of Dr. Reid, and in Mr. Stewart's elucidation and defence of it. That elucidation begins, indeed, with a remark, which we are not at all disposed to controvert that the distinguishing feature of Dr. Reid's philosophy is the systematical steadiness with which he has adhered to the course of correct observation, and the admirable self-command by which he has confined himself to the clear statement of the facts he has collected: But then Mr. Stewart immediately follows up this observation with a warm encomium on the inductive philosophy of Lord Bacon, and a copious and eloquent exposition of the vast advantage that may be expected from applying to the science of mind those sound rules of experimental philosophy that have undoubtedly guided us to all the splendid improvements in modern physics. From the time indeed that Mr. Hume published his treatise of human nature, down to the latest speculations of Condorcet and Mr. Stewart himself, we have observed this to be a favourite topic with all metaphy sical writers; and that those who have differed in almost every thing else, have agreed in magnifying the importance of such inquiries, and in predicting the approach of some striking improvement in the manner of conducting them.

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