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man shall be gifted with foreknowledge, legislation must needs be in a great measure experimental; and without a complete system of Judicial Statistics, the lawgiver may appeal to Lord Bacon's authority upon all other sciences, but his own can in no sense be called inductive.
Nothing then could be more appropriate at the yearly meeting of the Associated promoters of Science than Lord Stanley's earnestly pressing upon their attention the great subject of Judicial Statistics; and I should dwell upon the service he thus rendered to his colleagues of the Law Amendment Society, had he not cast that into the shade by his yet more important aid to the cause of Reformatory Discipline. It used to be said, among chemical philosophers, that Bergman's greatest discovery was his accidentally finding out Scheele; and it may most truly be affirmed that I never shall render any such service to the National Union as the accident of my absence did, by placing Lord Stanley in the chair. He gave such an impulse to this great movement as it could only receive from talents like his, singular capacity of hard work, extraordinary accuracy, and perfect candour (almost as cardinal a virtue in logic as in morals), united to earnestness of purpose, in a combination far more to be envied than the most ample possessions, or the highest hereditary honours.
"As no objection has been taken to the foreign aspect of Judicial Statistics and Reformatories, we may venture to hope that at length the string on which I have so long harped, of Reconcilement, will no longer find all ears deaf, because it 'discoursed though an excellent,' an un-English music.' Certainly, without saying the more I reflect on this subject, but only the more I see of the ruin brought on families, and especially those in humble circumstances, by the acts of men who are a disgrace to the Profession, the more I am penetrated with the conviction that a greater blessing could not be bestowed upon the community than to interpose the protection of the judge at a moment when he can by his discretion really save the suitors from ruin, instead of only as it were mechanically administering the law, when the whole costs have been incurred of what in a great proportion of cases is absolutely desperate litigation.
Such protection would be invaluable to parties of every class; but the rich can easily bear the losses and the risks which they encounter; beside that they are, generally speaking, in the hands of more respectable practitioners. But it is upon those of very moderate fortune that the worst kind prey; and whoever has lived long in the Profession can recollect too many instances of utter destruction brought upon those ill-fated persons, encouraged to prosecute hopeless claims, or persist in desperate defences. Nay, even the men most esteemed-and most justly esteemed-at the Bar are drawn in to further, in utter ignorance, the schemes of those unprincipled persons, who lay false statements of a case before them, and obtain opinions that encourage the unfortunate client to proceed.1 Surely nothing can be more simple, or more natural, than the remedy for this enormous evil. If the parties go before a man whose opinion, from his station, his disinterested position, and his entire impartiality, must command their confidence and respect, and in the absence of their professional advisers hear his advice, they will in all likelihood be guided by it. Only those causes would proceed further which involve some reasonable doubt upon the law or upon the fact; and a vast proportion of the actions which now come into court would cease even to be commenced; because the parties ought to have the inestimable benefit of the judge's opinion before any step is taken which can occasion more than the most inconsiderable expense. There wants not the evidence of experience upon this subject; but it is as strong and as clear as possible. Where Reconcilement has been introduced under well-devised regulations (as in Denmark), an immense proportion of the causes formerly tried ceased at once to encumber the courts; and even where, as in France, the procedure is less wisely framed, no less than three in four of the suits commenced (154,000 in 211,000) are thus settled without further-it may be said without any-litigation.
"You will say that, after so many failures, I am obstinately
1 Some such opinion, on such misstatement must have been given in a late case, on which money was raised, and a family put to the cost of five or six thousand pounds, not a farthing of which was recovered from the defeated party.
bent upon hoping against hope, when I add, that I really do not despair of this consummation being in store for us. It is long since I have had any sanguine expectations of seeing such things, because, at our time of life, whatever we do is of a testamentary, a valedictory, description. But it is still longer since I have had any feeling of what is vulgarly called ambition, because I long ago found that there is no such thing as power in this country,-nothing but compounding and compromising; going two steps against your will, often against your convictions, to make men go three with you; consulting, perforce, the opinions of not the wisest, the wishes of not the most reputable, the interests of not the purest, in the community. Very possibly, you, my dear old friend, may have had some such notions of the elements which compose the governing principle, when you refused to join our administration, and take the high office that was pressed upon your acceptance. But the gratification of furthering those objects, in the importance of which we thoroughly believe,-the heartfelt satisfaction of seeing our most cherished opinions prevail, and the honest pride of contributing to their triumph,-that delight which would have been yours had you felt convinced of your sentiments on certain great subjects being embraced, and placed in the ascendant, that delight which would be mine if Providence vouchsafed me time to see the improvement of our system prevent great and widespread distress, impotent as one's very limited means are to relieve it when its victims are overwhelmed, such delight is the sweetest that the Great Disposer permits to mingle in our lot, and its relish all but makes us forget the bitterness of the cup often commended to our lips."
ART. VI. THE FIRST PROVINCIAL MEETING OF THE NATIONAL REFORMATORY UNION.
E are desirous to place before our readers, without any undue delay, a record of the proceedings at the first provincial Meeting of the National Reformatory Union,-a Society formed towards the end of last year, for the purpose of assisting the efforts which have been made in this country during the last few years towards a more rational treatment of young offenders, and which have been called almost universally the Reformatory Movement. The Society, indeed, owes its existence to these very efforts, and is the strongest proof we can have of the deep interest they have excited in the public mind. When we speak of efforts made during the last few years, we do not mean that none were ever made for the improvement of the juvenile criminal class before that period. The establishment of the Philanthropic Society dates as far back as the year 1788, and as Lord Stanley said in his inaugural address, "Howard had called attention to the treatment in prison of young offenders fifteen years earlier, In 1815 the Prison Discipline Society was established, one of the objects of which was to save young offenders from contact with those more hardened in crime; in 1817, the Stretton Institution in Warwickshire, was commenced; and at a later period, the Childrens' Friend Society, under Captain Brenton, undertook the protection of neglected boys and girls whether innocent or criminal." The House of Refuge in Glasgow also was founded in 1834. Besides these Societies, individuals for many years have been quietly at work in the cause. In 1839 the recorder of Birmingham, whose feelings revolted at the idea of exposing children to the contaminations of a gaol without any hope of reformatory treatment, began his experiment of returning young persons convicted before him to their parents or masters, when these persons would undertake the charge of them, which experiment has been
attended with great success, and is still in beneficial operation; and in 1846 Mr. Rushton, stipendiary magistrate at Liverpool, called the attention of his colleagues to the deplorable condition of young criminals in that town.
The Rev. Sydney Turner visited Mettray, with Mr. Paynter, the police magistrate, in 1845, bringing the first detailed account of that wonderful institution to England, and with the assistance of the Philanthropic Society was enabled, in 1849, to commence the Farm School at Red Hill, which does so much honour to him and to the Society with which he is connected. Miss Carpenter had been for years collecting that experience of the juvenile criminal class which is of such inestimable value to the Reformatory cause. Other persons, whom we must not attempt to enumerate, had also been at work; but as a popular question, the reformation of young offenders has only existed during the last few years. Its first public recognition took place at the conference suggested by Mary Carpenter, and held at Birmingham in December, 1851. It was attended by most of those who had been working zealously, though quietly, at this question, and the interest then excited was considered very promising by the promoters of the Conference. At that time, we believe, with the exception of Stretton-on-Dunsmore, the Philanthropic Farm School at Red Hill was almost the only reformatory in England. The conference of 1851 was followed by another in 1853; the first had been satisfactory, the second was triumphant. During the interval, great progress had been made in the question; not only had Committees of the Legislature sat to consider the treatment of young offenders, but reformatory schools had been established at Saltley, Kingswood, and Droitwich. The conference was very numerously attended. Zealous men and women, though it was midwinter, came from all parts of the kingdom to aid by their presence the Reformatory cause. The result of these two conferences, and the reports issued by the Committees already mentioned, was the Juvenile Offenders Act of 1854, and the springing up, as it were, of Reformatories all over England. The question had then taken a firm hold on the popular mind, and persons throughout the country were anxious to labour