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T 0 "W lNr T A L KZ.




OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. A Cry for Foundling Hospitals. We are not surprised to find ourselves standing almost alone in the advocacy of foundling establish- ments, as a preventive of infanticide; but what does surprise us is the unvarying tenor of the opposition in favour of an assumed means of controlling this, frightful evil, based on the terror of illicit maternity. It is sought to be shown that the best safeguard against illicit amours and contingent illicit births, consists in devising means of keeping the pains, the penalties, the horrors of this even, well before the memory of the woman, the weaker party. Thus, and thus alone, it is asserted, can society be purified from this iniquitous stain—thus alone can it be regene- rated. It has, always seemed to us that this assumed safeguard had been tried out to exhaustion, and, by its results, proved defective; but a contemporary gave place to a letter yesterday, wherein the astounding testimony was set forth that, notwithstanding the prevalence of infanticide among us, we were still better in respect of this crime than other nations. If it be so, then we say God help this murderous world 1 -M,prning Post. It is not surprising that the disclosure of the crimes of the Devonshire murderess, Charlotte Winsor, has excited afresh the grief and alarm of society about the amount of infanticide among us. Perhaps we ought not to wonder at a repetition of what always follows such disclosures-a loud demand for foundling hospitals, as the natural, necessary, and appropriate remedy—the only preventive of the crime; yet it does seem strange that, if the proposers of this assumed remedy have not knowledge enough to be aware what they are asking, they should have no more reasoning power than to perceive that an institution which they praise as existing in former times and in foreIgn countries must have been discontinued in England and other Protestant countries for some reason..Con- sidering that infanticide is a crime which weighed heavily on the Pagan world, and then on Oathoho society, and then on Protestant, and that lungs and society, and then on Protestant, and that lungs and legislators, and saints and moralists, and just and benevolent persons everywhere, have followed the same coursein all ages an dull countries- of providing arefuge { for unwelcomeand deserted infants- there must be some I reason 'hv England and some other advanced countries have desisted from this particular method of dealii) g with the crrme. Those who are so ready to ant, and to compel others to act, on the first natural impulse in the case, might at leBfit. one would think, ascertain why England has ceased to follow the ancient and foreign m.1:,h,:¿t Ti f-y might at least inquire what has been the operation of that method in all the countries and states of society in which it has been tried If they had had the modesty and good sense to have done this, they would have found that wherever refuges for illegitimate or deserted children have been established, there has been an increase—not only of infant mortality but of child-murder, which is utterly appalling. One of the correspondents of a con- temporary announces that, in the hope of forming a central association to obtain a legislative establish- I ment of foundling hospitals, numbers of benevolent persons will exert themselves, among other ways, "in collecting statistics.' Let us hope that this statis- tical inquiry will go forward, and that it will be of the requisite scope. —Daily News. Fastening on the crime itself, people demand inter- I ference by the establishment of foundling hospitals, or receptacles like these which we see on the Continent for' foundlings. They argue that. if we make it so easy to get rid of children, we diminish the induce- ments to destroy them; and this is about'all that can be said in favour of the proposal. On the.other hand, the objections, are many and weighty. In the ifirst place, a foundling hospital is a little, and only a little, better than the den of the infanticide, Charlotte Winsor. It rescues children from one kind of death only to subject them to another, more painful and scarcely less sure than stifling between two mat- tresses. If this were all, however, we admit the ease would not be made out, because all that would be saved of those who would otherwise have been de- stroyed would be so much gained to society. But we must look a little deeper into the matter, and consider the causes that lead to the crime, and the influence that foundling hospitals would have upon its perpe- trators. As to the latter subject, it" is quite clear that foundling hospitals, by providing a means of dis- posing of children without the guilt of actual murder, and without the expense of supporting them, would furnish a most dangerous argument against fe- male virtue, and would thus greatly stimulate the cases in which the crime is committed. But they would do more than this. The act of disposing of a child in a foundling hospital is essentially immoral; it breaks down and degrades the character of the person who perpetrates it, and prepares the way for other crimes. The person who is capable of placing a child in a I foundling hospital, with the knowledge that in all probability it will die there, is far advanced in the way towards that state of mind which would induce her to kill the child herself. Take, for instance, the case of Rousseau, a man whom one would not willingly sup- pose to be incapable of tender emotion, and who has given us a delineation of female character which has drawn forth the tears and the sympathy of all readers. Yet this most sentimental of writers, ana most tender drawn forth the tears and the sympathy of all readers. Yet this most sentimental of writers, and most tender of moralists was so overpowered with the temptation which a paternal Government placed in his way, that fee has actually put on record in his own Con- fessions that he had the heart to send five of his own children to the foundling hospital, and this without reserving to himself the possibility of identifying them in case they survived. Nothing can be more odious than the arguments by which this sentimental philosopher palliates his guilt. He sent his children to the foundling hospital because from particular circumstances he feared for them a defective education if he retained them at home.-Ti-nes. Child-Murder. Mr. Justice Willes told the grand jury at Wells that in his opinion one cause at least of the crime of infan- ticide was the existence of defects in the law. Judges and juries in criminal matters were bound to accept the law as it stood, not stretching it to meet individual cases, not contracting it from any sense of obvious public advantage, and the law on child-murder was bad. In the first place, women tried on the secondary charge are punished not for concealment of birth, but concealment of the body, a distinction which not only increases the difficulty of obtaining evidence, but excites hopes in the criminal that if she can finally do away with the body she may be free of the law. Secondly, it is almost impossible, or in many cases quite impossible, to prove that the child was killed after it was fully born, and without such proof no conviction either for murder, or manslaughter can legally be obtained, a statement which, made from the bench and repeated, as it will be in the village penny newspapers, will of itself produce consequences Sir J. Willes would be the last to desire. He sug. gests therefore, as we understand, that concealment itself should be made penal, and that wilful killing at any moment after the pains have commenced should be accounted either murder or manslaughter. Now here at last are practical propositions, sugges- tions with a definite meaning, namely, to repress the crime by making the law more certainly efficient. So far as we can judge they certainly would have that effect. The first defect indeed is a real blunder, which can never have been intended by the framers of the law, and though the removal of the second would in-, volve some awkward questions, such as the legal light" of surgeons to sacrifice the child in order to save the mother, still these could no doubt be sufficiently well provided for. If the Legislature could be induced in addition to constitute infanticide by mothers a separate and distinct crime, neither murder nor man- slaughter, but child-murder, and impose a special penalty, say seven years' penal servitude, we should at last have a working law, a law under which evidence, would be simple, and juries would be induced to con- vict steadily, instead of convicting one day en evi- dence which they reject the next. At present the criminal runs an inappreciable risk of a capital sen- tence, a faint risk of penal servitude for life, and a great risk of two years' imprisonment, and the ex- change of all these risks for a certainty much heavier than the last might inspire a beneficial terror.-SPec' tator. The Financial Condition and Prospects of America. The daily operations of Jay Cooke, the Government broker in Philadelphia, are dispatched across the tele, graphic wires in every direction, and represented as the achievements of a great benefactor, who is strug- gling for the general good. Many journals are endea- vouring to force the conviction upon the people that five or six millions added each day to oar national debt, entailing an interest of nearly 7t per cent. upon every dollar, is not only an evisence of our sound financial condition, but is positive proof of the extraordinary sagacity of the great self-denominated financial str»t0' gist above mentioned. We do not hesitate to asser^ that we entertain directly opposite views. We look upon the augmentation of our national dene m any other light than that which marks tbf to financial distress and commercial ruin- •PjmPiy re- turning to the Government its paper and the notes of the national ban^s, inch are being increased in volume at the rate o* ree four millions a week, and receiving o e seven and three-tenths bonds is, ia our no of the soundness of the national ctf 1 01 healthy condition of its finances; it JP Proves that the currency is inflated, and preciated condition has closed many of the ordinary channels for safe investment. AT,« During the ° the fluctuations in the premium on coin created no more ntieasiness than what was J temporary excitement. The Government nooaea the country with green- backs to the extent or seven (hundred millions, and it was not that gold took a stand far above the representative 7 6 the legal tenders; but the premium f*otn day became greater or less as our prospects were brightened or clouded by defeat or victory on the field of battle. But now that the war ia ended what is there, it may be asked, to cause fluctuations m the price of gold, or even to keep it above the face value of Government paper which, for all purposes in our daily transactions, is its legal re- presentative ? The question is easily answered. It is simply the distrust which is engendered by the con- tinued increase of the currency and the enlargement of the iiational debt. We are in the same track that England pursued during the ten years subsequent to the final close of her war with France. The mistakes which the Govern- ment of that country made resulted not only in monetary revulsions and financial distress, which nearly ruined her trade and commerce, but in domestic broils and riots which threatened the very existence of the kingdom. If we do not commence early to profit by the knowledge we possess of the financial blunders which that country perpetrated, we must be prepared to witness a monetary collapse that experience has already taught us will spread disgrace and disaster through the heretofore prosperous Northern States.— New York Herald. —♦



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