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hypocrisy, but he was free from its restraints. He had that
reputation for boldness which many men preserve, as long as they are personally safe, by violence in their counsels and in their language. If he at last feared danger, he never feared shame, which much more frequently restrains the powerful. Perhaps the unbridled fury of his temper enabled him to threaten and intimidate with more effect than a man of equal wickedness, with a cooler character. His religion, which seems to have consisted in hatred to Nonconformists, did not hinder him from profaneness. His native fierceness was daily inflamed by debauchery ; his excesses were too gross and outrageous for the decency of historical relation; and his court was a continual scene of scurrilous invective, from which none were exempted but his superiors. A contemporary, of amiable disposition and Tory principles, who knew him well, sums up his character in few words, — he was by nature cruel, and a slave of the Court."" - p. 275.
It would be idle to offer a detailed account of a volume so miscellaneous as the one before us. It contains almost every thing of permanent value written by Mackintosh, except his History of England, all his principal contributions to periodical literature, and several of his speeches at the bar, from the bench, and in the House of Commons. It is curious to remark the entire sameness of his style in all these various classes of productions. Only in his Defence of the French Revolution does he exceed the easy, calm, graceful movement of a writer whose emotions are always subservient to his taste, and to whom a solecism in language and an extravagance in thought are on the same list of impossibilities. His style is always perspicuous and smooth, ornate without floridness, chaste without euphuism. It has an even and uniform vivacity, like that of conversation on matters of interest, the parties to which are of one mind; but on controverted subjects, it seldom gains the impetuosity which the consciousness of antagonism is wont to impart. These traits of style appear to the least advantage in his speeches. They are finished and polished essays, in no way different, except in the insertion of an occasional vocative, from what they would have been, had they been designed for the private reading of a select few. Several of them, however, are of exceeding interest as memorials of his genuine philanthropy. The subject of criminal reform attracted much of his attention, and called out some of his best and most successful efforts. In his judicial office in Bombay he tried the experiment of dis
pensing wholly with capital punishment, and with results so satisfactory, that we are astonished at the little prominence given to them in recent discussions of that subject in our own country. Deeming it important that such facts should meet every eye, at the risk of multiplying quotations to excess, we transfer to our pages the following paragraphs from his valedictory charge to the Grand Jury of Bombay.
“Since my arrival here, in May, 1804, the punishment of death has not been inflicted by this Court. Now the population subject to our jurisdiction, either locally or personally, cannot be estimated at less than two hundred thousand persons. Whether any evil consequence has yet arisen from so unusual and in the British dominions unexampled — a circumstance as the disuse of capital punishment, for so long a period as seven years, among a population so considerable, is a question which you are entitled to ask, and to which I have the means of affording you a satisfactory answer.
“ The criminal records go back to the year 1756. From May, 1756, to May, 1763, the capital convictions amounted to one hundred and forty-one; and the executions were forty-seven. The annual average of persons who suffered death was almost seven ; and the annual average of capital crimes ascertained to have been perpetrated was nearly twenty. From May, 1804, to May, 1811, there have been one hundred and nine capital convictions. The annual average, therefore, of capital crimes, legally proved to have been perpetrated during that period, is between fifteen and sixteen. During this period there has been no capital execution. But as the population of this island has much more than doubled during the last fifty years, the annual average of capital convictions during the last seven years ought to have been forty, in order to show the same proportion of criminality with that of the first seven years. Between 1756 and 1763, the military force was comparatively small : a few factories or small ports only depended on this government. Between 1804 and 1811, five hundred European officers, and probably four thousand European soldiers, were scattered over extensive territories. Though honor and morality be powerful aids of law with respect to the first class, and military discipline with respect to the second, yet it might have been expected, as experience has proved, that the more violent enormities would be perpetrated by the European soldiery, - uneducated and sometimes depraved as many of them must originally be, often in a state of mischievous idleness, — commanding, in spite of all care, the means of intoxi. cation, and corrupted by contempt for the feelings and rights of the natives of this country. If these circumstances be considered, it will appear that the capital crimes committed during the last seven years, with no capital execution, have, in proportion to the population, not been much more than a third of those committed in the first seven years, notwithstanding the infliction of death on forty-seven persons. The intermediate periods lead to the same results. The number of capital crimes in any one of these periods does not appear to be diminished either by the capital executions of the same period, or of that immediately preceding : they bear no assignable proportion to each other.
" In the seven years immediately preceding the last, which were chiefly in the presidency of my learned predecessor, Sir William Syer, there was a remarkable diminution of capital punishments. The average fell from about four in each year, which was that of the seven years before Sir William Syer, to somewhat less than two in each year. Yet the capital convictions were diminished about one third.
“The punishment of death is principally intended to prevent the more violent and atrocious crimes. From May, 1797, there were eighteen convictions for murder, of which I omit two, as of a very particular kind. In that period there were twelve capital executions. From May, 1804, to May 1811, there were six convictions for murder, omitting one which was considered by the jury as in substance a case of manslaughter with some aggravation. The murders in the former period were, therefore, very nearly as three to one to those in the latter, in which no capital punishment was inflicted. From the number of convictions I of course exclude those cases where the prisoner escaped ; whether he owed his safety to defective proof of his guilt, or to a legal objection. This cannot affect the justness of a comparative estimate, because the proportion of criminals who escape on legal objections before courts of the same law must, in any long period, be nearly the same. But if the two cases
one where à formal verdict of murder, with a recommendation to mercy, was intended to represent an aggravated manslaughter; and the other of a man who escaped by a repugnancy in the indictment, where, however, the facts were more near manslaughter than murder be added, then the murders of the last seven years will be eight, while those of the former seven years will be sixteen.
“ This small experiment has, therefore, been made without any diminution of the security of the lives and properties of men. Two hundred thousand men have been governed for seven years without a capital punishment, and without any increase of crimes. If any experience has been acquired, it has been safely and inno
cently gained. It was, indeed, impossible that the trial could ever have done harm. It was made on no avowed principle of impunity or even lenity. It was in its nature gradual, subject to cautious reconsideration in every new instance, and easily capable of being altogether changed on the least appearance of danger. Though the general result be rather remarkable, yet the usual maxims which regulate judicial discretion have in a very great majority of cases been pursued. The instances of deviation from those maxims scarcely amount to a twentieth of the whole convictions."
- pp. 506, 507. We suppose, that, with all the versatility and compass of Mackintosh's mind, he can hardly be called an original thinker. We are not aware of any contribution exclusively his own to the previously existing stock of ideas in morals, politics, or literature. But if he has not enlarged the bounds of human knowledge, it is no small praise that he has made no addition to the rubbish of baseless and worthless theories and speculations, which serve no conceivable purpose except as buoys to keep their authors' names afloat. On the other hand, he has done much towards disentangling and systematizing the materials that lay before him, and has touched no subject without leaving upon it the indubitable impress of a sound, clear-sighted, and judicious intellect. In imagination, in wit, in those discursive powers, which, even when most gracefully exercised, are prone to play the judgment false, he was undoubtedly deficient; but instances of the healthful and vigorous use of the rational and æsthetic faculties on so wide a range of subjects are so rare, as on that ground alone to entitle him to the place which at the outset we professed ourselves ready to assign him, among the world's few great men.
We should be glad, had we time, to trace with some minuteness of detail the beautiful development and growth of his character. As a young man, he seems to have been fickle, impulsive, reckless, and given to some of the less censurable irregularities common among youth of that day. No wonder that he should have been so ; for he lacked all the essential benefits of early domestic discipline, having been neglected by his father, and over-petted by his slighted mother, while a circle of indulgent aunts supplied every needed additional means of spoiling the child. At the age of ten, he left their roof, and, with hardly any subsequent check or guidance, was thenceforward virtually his own master. An imprudent mar
riage with a woman of the rarest excellence of character seems to have put a period to whatever of objectionable license may have tinged the first years of manhood; and her early death constituted a marked epoch in his moral growth. From that time we trace the constant outraying of his benevolent sympathies, and recognize an expansive love of his race and a sincere interest in every thing appertaining to the welfare of humanity as pervading elements in every form of his activity. Generous, self-forgetting devotion to the happiness and improvement of friends and strangers, the few and the many, the near and the distant, was the prominent trait of his moral nature, and moulded his whole character into the most lovely and attractive forms and expressions. Few men have had so many intimate friends ; few have loved their friends with so genial and unselfish an attachment. Nor was sincere religious faith wanting to add its crowning grace to a life so rich and beautiful in all its manward aspects. In his early sorrows, we find him seeking relief by trust in a fatherly Providence ; recognitions of the worth and power of Christianity grew more and more frequent with the growing experience of life ; and his Saviour's name, coupled with expressions of faith and love, was almost the last word that fell from his lips in dying.
Art. II. – 1. The History of Rome, from the First Punic
War to the Death of Constantine. By B. G. NIEBUHR. In a Series of Lectures, including an Introductory Course on the Sources and Study of Roman History. Edited by LEONHARD Schmitz, Ph. D. London. 1844.
2 vols. 8vo. 2. A History of Rome, from the Earliest Times to the
Death of Commodus, A. D. 192. By DR. LEONHARD Schmitz, F. R. S. E., Rector of the High School of Edinburgh. New York : Harper & Brothers. Published also at Andover, by Allen, Morrill, & Wardwell. 1847. 12mo.
A SINGULAR fatality seems to attend the history of Rome. While that of Greece has been written again and again, and