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punishment or reward adequate or inadequate in general, and in as many given instances as possible. In Mr. Bentham's former work on legislation, he gave a catalogue and scale of human pleasures and pains, observing as a general rule, that all pleasures and pains affect us, cæteris paribus, in proportion to their intensity, their proximity, their certainty, and their duration. He next classed offences and crimes according to the degrees of injury or quantity of evil they produce. He now begins the present treatise by examining what are the characteristics, what are the circumstances in punishments, which render then most useful, and which enable the legislator by their means to effect his purpose, most securely, most permanently, and with the least "waste of pain." Montesquieu had long since suggested that punishments should be analogous to crimes, that they should be moderate, that they should be decorous, and that they should be proportionate to offences. But this he had expressed only in vague terms; never explaining what he meant by moderate, never giving any rule to determine the proportion he desires.
Beccaria repeated, that punishments should be analogous and proportionate to offences; but still without explaining what he meant by this analogy, and still without giving any rule for the proportion. He made many judicious observations on the danger of excess in point of severity. He urged with all the eloquence of humanity, that punishments should be mild. But this word mild, like Montesquieu's epithet moderate, conveys no accurate idea, gives no certain rule or measure by which the lawgiver can apply it to practice. Beccaria, however, has advanced some steps beyond Montesquieu; for he points out that punishments should be public, for the sake of example-that they "should be definite, prompt, and inevitable." These last three conditions he speaks of only as to the forms of legal procedure, to the mode of applying the punishment rather than as to the qualities requisite in the punishment itself, Voltaire in his commentary on Beccaria frequently adverts to the idea that punishments should be rendered profitable to the state, A man who is hanged, says he, is good for nothing. "The virtuous Howard also had continually in view the reformation of offenders." But after thus collecting all that has been said by those who have been considered as oracles on this subject, and comparing it with what is stated by Bentham in his chapter " Des qualités désirables dans les peines," the reader will immediately perceive how far he has surpassed his predecessors. He gives a complete enumeration of all the useful or desirable circumstances or qualities in punishments he defines accurately what he means by every term that he uses, and shows how and why each quality is advantageous. This being done, "we shall now," says he, "have clear and distinct rea
sons to determine us in the choice of punishments. It remains only to inquire in what proportion any proposed punishments possess the different qualities that have been thus enumerated and defined. Any conclusion that might be drawn from the exclusive consideration of any one of these taken separately, would be subject to error; we must consider them all collectively. There is no one mode of punishing perhaps which unites them all; but according to circumstances and to the nature of the crime, some are more important than others."
Our author proceeds with a very careful analysis, and presents us with a most elaborate and accurate classification of punishments; comparing each class, each genus, each species, each individual, with this table of desirable qualities-showing distinctly in what they excel, and in what they are deficient; trying them constantly by one safe standard, and giving as the result, the average of their practical utility. For the definitions and for the classification we must refer to the work itself. We cannot give an adequate notion of them by any extract, much less by any attempt at compression or abridgement. This book cannot be abridged, its characteristic-perhaps its characteristic fault-is compression. We, reviewers, in reading some of the desultory, diffuse performances by which our patience is tried and our time wasted, have frequently wished that the good old custom of marginal notes was revived. These put an author to the rack, and make him confess at once whether there is any thing in him or not. No wonder they have gone out of fashion with writers. But why should readers give them up? If our present author however had put marginal notes to his works, the notes must have been nearly as copious as the text. In these days, when the art of literary manufacture, and the practice of expanding a little sense and a few facts into prodigious volumes, is carried to such lamentable perfection, we have seldom occasion to complain of an author for compressing his ideas too closely. In stating that we cannot give a detailed account of this work because it is so full of ideas that to detail them would lead far beyond our limits, and would be to produce a book twice the size of the volume we have before us,—we thus give it no common eulogium; this will convey to those who 'can understand it a high idea of its merit and utility. But it is not in our nature, or habit, to give praise unmixed with blame. Much as we value, and indeed in proportion as we value, Mr. Bentham's works, we regret that he should, by a multiplicity of divisions and subdivisions, and definitions, give them an air of difficulty and abstruseness which may prevent them from becoming immediately as popular as for the good of society we desire to see them. They are works that must necessarily be studied by every man, who pre
tends to acquire accurate ideas of the science of legislation; they must find a permanent and distinguished place in the library of every lawyer, statesman, and philosopher; but we should desire to see works, so useful, diffused through all classes of reasonable readers. There is a class of readers,-we cannot help catching the taste for classification and definition,-there is a class of childish readers who require to be rewarded for the labour of reading a few lines of instruction, with a sugar-plum of amusement. Of these Mr. Bentham must for ever despair; nor do we in the least regret for him the want of their admiration. We should be sorry to see great writers stoop to humour a childish, sickly, vitiated, taste for literary sweetmeats, instead of honestly providing solid, salutary, invigorating, food for the mind. Attention, inental labour, is the price which all must pay for the attainment of knowledge. To this condition some readers willingly submit; yet there are many even of these who might be wearied by the nosology of Bentham, or appalled by his logical apparatus. We are aware that the beauty and utility of his system depend upon that classification which has brought a multitude of scattered heterogeneous truths into subordination and lucid order, and which has rendered them manageable by the human understanding. We are aware how much the power of the reasoning faculty, and the possible range of the mind of man, is increased by the art of classification, which is to all science what algebra is to arithmetic; which enables us to compare, abstract and generalise, to pass not only from known to unknown truths, but from one comprehensive axiom to another in a higher rank of utility.
We are also aware how dangerous it is in reasoning, to pass hastily over definitions, or to adopt general terms without a previously rigid examination of the particular ideas which they represent. We consequently are grateful for the double benefit conferred on philosophy by the courage and the patience shown in the analytic and synthetic order of Bentham's works. Order, we know, is Heaven's first law; therefore we wish that man in his works should endeavour to make it agreeable as well as useful.
In the present instance, we think that the popularity of Mr. Bentham's book, and of course its general utility, would have been increased by suppressing something of what may be thought an ostentation of order. Without weakening the general scheme of that scaffolding which has been constructed with admirable scientific art, some of the minuter parts might have been safely spared; and if the whole had been taken away when the building had been completed, the beauty of the edifice would at once have struck the public eye, and would have been more pleasing to the public taste, while the skill of the architect would have been equally visible to all good judges.
Having said thus much, it is but fair to refer to an excellent chapter on the use of Bentham's classification (chapter 7th, 1st colume of the Treatise on Legislation); and it is but just here to lay before our readers what the editor has in the present instance to say in his own defence. We do this with the more pleasure, as the passage will afford a specimen of that candour and integrity which disdain all the paltry arts of popularity, and all the literary tricks of the trade to which even men of genius sometimes condescend.
"The divisions, tables, and classifications, which I have called logical apparatus, should I am told be considered only as a scaffolding that ought to have been taken away when the edifice was finished. But I answer-Why hide from the reader the sight of the instruments which the author has used? why conceal from the world the methods of analysis, and the process of invention? These tables are a machine for thinking, organum cogitativum. The author reveals his secret to the public; he lets you into partnership in his work; he gives to all those who are capable of pursuing a train of thought, the clue which has guided him in his researches; he enables them to verify all that he has done, and if they please to go still further. Is it not strange that the extent and magnitude of this service should diminish its value?
"I am aware that by using these logical means as secret powers; by not showing, if I may so express myself, the anatomy of the subject, the muscles and the nerves, much might be gained as to ease, and grace, and colouring. In following the analytic method, every thing is plainly told at first, there can be nothing unexpected, no surprises-no flashes of light, none of those brilliant thoughts which dazzle you for a moment and leave you afterwards in utter darkness. It requires some courage to follow so severe a method, but it is the only plan which can be completely satisfactory
"With respect to some abstract terms, such as exemplarity, remissibility, convertibility to profit, and some others of the same kind, I have hazarded them in one chapter of definitions, but have avoided them as much as I could in the body of the work. However, every one must be sensible how necessary it is to be able to express any given quality by a single word. How could the natural philosopher do without the terms elasticity, compressibility, condensability, and others of a similar sort? That for which we have no name easily escapes from the memory; we can give a grammatical existence to an abstract notion only by a name” * * * "Abstract terms, it is true, have often a didactic scholastic appearance; they are avoided in familiar conversation; and authors who pique themselves on writing as they
speak are content with a somehow or an as it were, and would rather use a periphrasis than terrify fashionable readers, or disgust those who above all things pique themselves on purity of style." We must refer to the work itself not only for the merits of the classification, but we must acknowledge that we cannot here pretend even to give our readers a competent idea of the mode in which Mr. Bentham makes this classification useful in each step of his progress. We have followed him through his analysis, but it is impossible to abridge the process. We can, however, give a general idea of the results of the reasoning, and by a few extracts we can afford fair specimens of the editor's powers of lively illustration, and of that benevolent eloquence, which spreads a warm interest over every part of this work, where his fastidious judgement would suffer it to appear.
After speaking of the advantages of imprisonment compared with the infliction of bodily pain and some other modes of punishment, he dwells strongly on the known efficacy of solitary confinement in producing the reformation of the criminal, and he inquires why it has this effect.
"I answer," says he, "that amendment depends less upon the violence or the intensity of the pain, than on the association that is formed between the idea of the punishment and of the crime. Under the acute pain inflicted by the whip there is no time left for reflection. The whole attention is absorbed by bodily suffering. If any mental emotion mixes with the corporeal sufferings, before all other would rise resentment against the prosecutor, the executioner, or the judge. As soon as the torture ceases, the patient is free, and he seeks with avidity all that can make him forget what he has suffered, and all his companions contribute to drive away those salutary reflections on which his reformation de pends. The pain is past, and this idea is accompanied with a sentiment of lively joy little favourable to repentance. But in a state of solitude, man left to himself does not feel those emotions of sympathy or antipathy which society excites; he has no longer the variety of ideas arising from the conversation of his companions, or from the sight of external objects, or from the active pursuit of business or of pleasure." "The pain of solitary confinement is not so acute as to occupy his whole thoughts, or to take from him the power of reflection. On the contrary, he feels more than ever the want of intellectual occupation, and he calls to his aid all the ideas which his situation affords. The most natural course of thought is that which retraces the events of his past life, recalls the bad advice he may have received, his first faults, those by which he was led on to commit the crime for which he is suffering the punishment-that crime of which all the