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.... - - -, L i'L'E RATTJH…


• • — , ■ ■ — ■ i ¡ THE EDINBURGR!MEAN…

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COMMISSIONER PHILLIPS ON CAPITAL PUNISH- MENTS.—Mr. Phillips, the bankruptcy commission- er, has just issued a pamphlet of more than 100 pages (Longmans) entitled "Vacation Thought" on Capital Punishmonts." We may have occasion to refer to his views at length. In the meautimej the following passage will show the opinion to which Mr Phillips has arrived :—Five and twent years of no ordinary experience in our criminal courts gives the writer of theso pagP3 some title to have i' 1 f< 1. a voice in this discussion, and after mu^h patient thought, and much very patien ohsen-ation, that voice is decidedly in favour of the abolition of ca- pital punishments in every ease whatever. Where Bo much depends, and must necessarily depend, on the constitutional temperament both of the bench and jury box, operative, often unconsciously, on their respective occupants, it is unwise, and it is as unwise as unsafe, to confine to them an authority whieh, ir exercised in error, is altogether without remedy. Many will think, perhaps, with the great Italian, that man usurps a powr whicn is not his, when he presumes to inflict capital punishment at all. Many there are who will ask with Beccm-ia, what right have nieu to citt the thro.iU of their fell low creatures ? LOGETJTY IN Scon.AXN.—The Registrar-General of Scotland reports that in thequaru-rend^d Septem- ber last, 10 persons died ago in the eight largest towns. Ei<ht of the.o were females and two mal. Two widows in Paisley attained the age ef 96; an unmarried lady in Edinburg'h that of 93; a widow in Aberdeen, that of 92 ° a widow and a female domestic servant in Edinburg^h a flax hand loom weaver in Dundee, and a widowin Paisley, that of 91 and a hle f. male in and a widow in Aberdeen, attained the age 01: 90: THE BLACS. SJH AL-" THE BRITISH FLEKT.—It has been stated, ia various quarters, that the Sublime Pwte ha! addressed to our government a remonstrance against a longer continuance of the Dritiiih fleet in the Black Se:1. We are enabled to state no such representation has been made by Tur- key and we repeat that, until the complete aud faithful exccatiou of the treaty of Paris, the British fleet will not he withdrawn from the Kuxiae. The j 1 01 'fi' t points, at issue, however, apparently insignificant in themgelyos, really involve the whole principle for which wo engaged in the Lite war, and of which we obtained the full reco;:nitieii in the treaty signed at Paris on tho too credulous supposition that it would be honourably fulfilled.—Morning Fost. MONEY REMITTANCES BY Tiara RAM.—Fer the purpose of affording facility to the public for the r.ipid remittance of sums of money, the Electric Telegraph Company have organised a branch of their establishment for that purpose. Money deposited | with the company will he advised-by telegraph or- ders, and be paid to the parties named in the order, in accordance with the conditions printed on tho company's forms. The towns between which these remittances can be made are :-From London to Li verpool, Manchester, or Newcastle-on- Tyne j and to London frem Birmingham, Hristol, Dublin, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Liver- pool, Manchester, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Plymouth, Portsmouth Sunderland, and York. I PROGRESS OF CIVILISATION IN TIMES OF PEACE. —History—which is the great oracle to consult on all political and social questions—also teaches us that, in the space of a single generation, it is some- times possible for a nation to make more progress toward s a high state of civilisation, under the in- fluence of peace and liberal institutions, than the same nation can effect in a century of war and vic- tories. For instance, we have ourselves effectod more pi egress in any ten years since the battle of Waterloo, than during the whole half century of the reign of George III. As we stand at present, therefore, it appears to fee that we arc not iii an unfavourable position for gradually receiving and feeling such an alteration as I speak of in our na- tional sentiments. There are many phenomena displaying themselves all around us through society that cannot be otherwise interpreted by those whose habits of thought incline them to institute observations, In the first place, we have the broad fact thnt society is gravitating to a more level sur- face. We observe that education—some rudimen- tary learning—a mental cultivation of some sort has bec>me infinitely more general than some here present may remember it to have been. 1 do not mean an education calculated to exercise and dis- cipline the intellect by actual study, so much as the appreciation of tho amusement and recreation to be found in the lighter departments of mental oc- cupation. Literature of some sort—unsubstantial, if you will, but still the work of cultivated and ac- complished minds—is beginning to find a place a- mong the necessaries of life. Like many other en- joyments, once regarded as expensive luxuries, it is now brought, by the mechanical facilities of the age, within the reach of the general public. This growing tabto-tiiis desire which whimpers to a man that he is not all clay—may be a more powerful agency in our elevation in the scale of being. To become so, it is only nccessary that it should be di- rected upwards—that the food on which it is to grow to maturity should be healthy aud unadulter- ated—that the tono of our popular literature should betpure and chaste, and not (as to') much of it now is) tawdry, and sensuous, and sensaal!—JJt. Hum- phrey'« Leeturv, I



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