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brought nearly to their lowest rate incense in honour of them, and they as. by the competition of such multi- semble their followers by night, in order tudes in similar situations. One is
to instruct them in their doctrines, and, greatly at a loss, therefore, to con
by pretended powers and notices, endea
vour to inveigle and mislead the multiceive what speculations can be en
tude, the principal in the commission of tered into in that country, from the such offences shall be strangled, after profits of which money can be re- remaining in prison the usual period, and paid with 36 per cent. of interest. the accessaries shall severally receive 100 The truth, perhaps, is, that though blows, and be perpetually banished to the
distance of 3000 lee. this be the maximum fixed by the old law, the current rate is greatly soldiers or citizens, dress and ornament
“ If at any time the people, whether inferiour; or, perhaps, borrowing at their idols, and after accompanying them interest is pratised only by profli- tumultuously with drums and gongs, pergates and adventurers, from whom form oblations and other sacred rites to the chance of repayment is but their honour, the leader or instigator of small. At Canton, and in dealings
such meetings shall be punished with 100
blows.” with strangers, where the risk must be regarded as considerable, the Sir George Staunton observes, in actual rate of interest is from 12 to a note, that this latter clause must 18 per cent. only. Persons not pay- be regarded as obsolete, since the ing the interest of their debts regu. alleged offence is daily committed larly, shall receive thirty lashes in open day throughout the whole monthly, so long as they continue in extent of the empire. There is no
It does not appear that the thing said, expressly, on the subject person of a debtor can be attached of Christianity, in the laws upon by his creditor. Mortgages have sectarian worship, or elsewhere in been long known in China, and the code; though sir George has many regulations made with regard printed, in the appendix, two edicts to them; the interest in such cases on the subject, issued in 1805, exvaries from 10 to 15 per cent. pressing great disapprobation of
Waifed goods must be taken to their doctrines. thc magistrate within five days; but, If the emperour's physician comif not claimed within thirty, they are pound any medicine in a manner then given to the finder. Combina- sanctioned by established tions to raise the prices of commo- usage," he shall receive 100 blows. dities are punished with forty blows; If there be any dirt in his imperial the use of false weights and mea- majesty's food, the cook shall reo, sures with seventy; all lawful mea- ceive eighty blows; and if any dish sures to be stamped after compari. be sent up, without being previously son with the government standard. tasted, he shall receive fifty. Finally,
Pretty severe penalties are award. if any unusual ingredient be put ed against magicians, and the irre. into the food, the cook shall receive gular worship of sectaries; but the 100 blows, and be compelled to law seems rather to have in view swallow the article! the tumults or conspiracies to which The censors and provincial magissuch practices may give encourage trates shall represent freely to the ment, than the offence to religion. emperour whatever they think may Families burning incense to the conduce to the publick advantage. North Star during the night, are to All publick officers of the first rank be punished; and of magicians, it is shall attend the emperour in a cer. said, that
tain order. If any person about court
impede or prevent their attendance, " If they, having in their possession he shall suffer death. The magis concealed images of their worship, burn rates of cities shall attend all supe.
riour officers passing through, to blows and banishment; if the person their gates; but shall be severely be wounded or injured, with death. punished if they proceed beyond Any person entering a house, either them. Every individual who does by force or by stealth, in the night, not dismount and make way when may be lawfully killed. There are he meets an officer of government very serere and extremely anxious on the road, shall receive fifty blows. penalties against disturbing graves, No individual to pass through a or exposing dead bodies to any kind barrier, without a license or pass- of indecent treatment. port, under pain of eighty blows. Murder is punished with death. If he proceed so far as to have any Even an intention to commit parcommunication with aliens, he shall ricide has the same pain; and, if suffer death. In Pekin, no person the parent be actually killed, torture whatever to go abroad after nine is added. Administering poison is o'clock in the evening, or before capital, even though it does not kill. five in the morning, under pain of Killing in an affray is also capital; fifty blows. The same regulation in if by accident, and quite without inall the other cities of the empire, tention, the party
may redeem his with one degree of less severity. life by a small fine. Physicians who
The establishment of a governo kill by absurd medicines, if without ment post has long been known as any malicious purpose, may also reone of the ancient institutions of deem themselves, but must for ever China. There are various minute quit the profession. Husbands may regulations with regard to it in this kill persons caught in adultery. volume. The rate of travelling with
There is a long gradation of publick despatches is not much less punishments in cases of assault, than a hundred miles per day. both the pains and the injury being
Robbery in the night is punished nicely distinguished. Mitigations with death; in the day, with a hun. are also allowed on account of prodred blows, and perpetual banish. vocation, as may be seen from ment. Any attempt to rescue the the following characteristick enactoffender after he is seized, is capital. ment. The pains of stealing rise in proportion to the value taken from sixty persons; and in the case of several per
“ In the case of a combat between two, blows of the bamboo, 10 death;
sons engaging in an affray, and promiscuthough sir George Staunton says, ously striking and fighting each other, that this extreme punishment never they shall be punished respectively, acis inflicted for this offence. Swin- cording to the blows duly ascertained, dling, or obtaining money on false
and proved, by the examination of the pretences, punished exactly as theft effects, to have been received by their
antagonists; except that the punishment to the same value; extorting by of the person or persons who only return threats, one degree more severely. the blows received, and have the right Stealing froin near relations incurs and justice of the dispute on his or their punishment five degrees less severe
side, shall be reduced two degrees in than that of common theft. Sir
consideration of such favourable circum
stances; but this reduction shall not take George Staunton attempts to explain place in the instance of striking an elder this very extraordinary law, by ob- brother or sister, or an uncle; or when serving, that all the members of inflicting, in any case, a mortal blow. a family are considered as having a “ As for instance; let Kia and Yee be sort of joint interest in their pro. supposed to quarrel and fight, and that, perty; so that the domestick thief Kiu deprives Tee of an eye, and Yee de
prives Kia of a tooth; now the injury sus. takes only what is partly his own.
tained by Yee is the heaviest, and subjects Kidnapping, or stealing human crea
Kia to the punishment of 100 blows and tures, punished with a hundred three years banishment, whilst the lesser
injury sustained by Kia subjects Yee to a “ When any person accuses another of punishment of 100 blows only: neverthe- two or more offences, whereof the lesser, less, if it appears that Kia only returned only proves true; and when, in the case the attack, and had the right on his side, of a single offence having been charged bis punishment shall be reduced two de- by one person against another, the stategrees, and accordingly amount to eighty ment thereof is found to exceed the truth; blows and two years banishment. On the upon either supposition, if the punishcontrary, if Yee only returned the attack, ment of the falsely alleged, or falsely agand had the right in the dispute, his pu- gravated offence, had been actually in. nishment shall be reduced two degrees, Xicted in consequence of such false accu. and amount to 80 blows only; the punish. sation; the difference (estimated accorment to which the antagonist is subjected, ding to the established mode of compuremaining in either case the same as be- tation hereafter exemplified) between the fore.” p. 326, 327.
falsely alleged and the actually committed
offence, or between the falsely alleged The punishment for striking an greater, and the truly alleged lesser of. individual of the imperial blood is less fence, shall be inflicted on the false accu. severe than for striking an officer of
ser; but if punishment, conformably to the government. Persons inflicting aggravated offence, shall not have actual.
the nature of the falsely alleged, or falsely wounds are liable for their conse
ly been inflicted, having been prevented quences, for twenty, thirty, or fifty by a timely discovery of the falsehood of days, according to the nature of the the accusation, the false accuser shall be injury. If the sufferer die after the permitted to redeem, according to an eslegal period, the assailant is not re
tablished scale, the whole of the punish
ment which would have been due to him sponsible. A slave striking a free
in the former case, provided it does not man, suffers only one degree more
exceed 100 blows; but if it should exceed severely than for an assault among 100 blows, the 100 blows shall be inflicted, equals; and vice versa; though a and he shall be only permitted to redeem. master may strike his slave with the excess. p. 366, 367. impunity, if it be done for correc- There is a very long section on tion, and do not cut. Striking pa- bribery, with a prodigious scale of rents is death in all cases. Wife stri- punishments, as usual, according as, king husband is punished three de- the bribe is large or small, or taken, grees more severely than for a com- for an innocent or a criminal object. mon assault; if she maim him, with The pains range from 60 blows with death; if he die, with death by tor- the bamboo to death; that extreme ture. If a father kill his child by punishment being inflicted for taking excessive chastisement, a hundred more than 80 ounces of silver [unblows. There is no warrant in the der 301.] for an unlawful object, and letter of the law for infanticide. If 120 (or 601.] for a lawful one. Aone kill another to revenge the greeing to take a bribe has the same slaughter of a parent, the punish- punishment as actually taking it; ment is only a hundred blows. offering or giving it a much lighter
The author of all anonymous ac- one; and if asked or extorted by an cusations against others, shall suffer officer of government, no punishdeath, although the charge should ment at all, prove true. False and malicious ac- Forging an imperial edict is death; cusations shall be punished with a or counterfeiting the copper coin, pain two degrees more severe than the only proper currency of the em.. the accused would have undergone, pire. There does not appear to be. if the charge had been true. This, any precise regulation about the for. again, is exemplified by the anxiety gery of private writings. of the legislator, through a great Rape is punished with death; a. variety of imaginary cases. We dultery among private persons, with shall give merely the general rule 100 blows; but inuch more severely of equation.
among persons high in office; fornia,
cation, with 70 blows; other offences for killing a Chinese in an affray. of a more detestable nature only The native merchant who had bewith the same punishment.
come answerable for the good conA person accidentally setting fire duct of the crew, finding it imposto his house, shall receive 40 blows; sible to get the officers to deliver up and if the fire spread to the gate of the man, contrived, by bribes, to an imperial palace, shall be put to the amount, as was reported, of no death. Wilfully setting fire to one's less than 50,0001. not only to get a own house, 100 blows; to any other whole host of witnesses to swear to house, publick or private, death. a detailed story directly contrary to Very severe penalties for neglecting the truth, but to prevail on the trithe reparation of roads, bridges, and bunals and chief magistrates, among canals, and for damaging or whom the real state of the fact was croaching on them.
notorious, to certify and report it to Such are a few of the leading the supreme government at Pekin, provisions of this oriental code: and
and to pronounce a solemn sentence defective as it must no doubt appear, in conformity to that statement. in comparison with our own more Such, however, will always be the liberal and indulgent constitutions, fate of A
WITHOUT we conceive, that even this hasty NOUR; and this is the grand and pesketch of its contents will be thought culiar reproach of the singular peosufficient to justify all that we have ple we have been contemplating. said of its excellence, in relation to That noble and capricious principle, other Asiatick systems. How far it which it is as difficult to define, as is impartially enforced, or conscien- to refer in all cases to a sure fountiously obeyed, we have not, indeed, dation in reason or in morality, is, the means of knowing; and so slight after all, the true safeguard of nais the connexion between good laws tional and individual happiness and and national morality, that prohibi- integrity, as well as of their dignity tion's often serve only to indicate the and greatness. It is found, too, in prevalence of crimes, and the de- almost all conditions of society, and nunciation of severe punishments to in every stage of its progress; among prove their impunity. Of one crime, the savages of America, and the indeed, and that the most heavily bandits of Arabia, as well as among reprobated, perhaps, of any in this the gentlemen of London or Paris; code, we know the Chinese to be
among Turks, heathens, and Chris. almost universally guilty; and that tians; among merchants and peais, the crime of corruption. At Can- sants; republicans and courtiers; ton, it is believed, our traders have men and children. It is found every never yet met with any officer of where refining and exalting moragovernment inaccessible to a bribe; lity; aiding religion, or supplying and where this system is universal, its place; inspiring and humanizing it is evident that the very founda- bravery; fortifying integrity; overtions of justice and good govern- awing or tempering oppression; sofment must be destroyed in every tening the humiliation of poverty, department of the state. Of the ex- and taming the arrogance of suctent to which falsification may be cess. A nation is strong and happy carried, and of the impunity of exactly in proportion to the spirit of which it may be assured by bribery, honour which prevails in it; and no a notable instance is recorded in the nation, ancient or modern, savage or detail published by sir George civilized, seems to have been altoStaunton, in the appendix, of the gether destitute of it, but the Chicircumstances attending the trial nese. To what they are indebted for and acquittal of an English seaman, this degrading peculiarity, we shall not pretend to determine. The des. enough for a race to whose habits it potism of the government; the tra. was originally adapted, and who have ding habits of the people; the long quietly submitted to it for two thou. peace they have enjoyed; and their sand years. When governments be. want of intercourse with other na- gin to think it a duty to exalt and tions, may all have had their share. improve the condition of their subThe fact, however, we take to be jects, the Chinese government will undoubted; and it both explains have more to do than any other; but and justifies the chief deformities in while the object is merely to keep the code we have now been consi- their subjects in order, and to redering. If such a code could be im- press private outrages and injuries posed by force upon an honourable to individuals, they may boast of and generous people, it would be having as effectual provisions for the most base and cruel of all atro- that purpose, as any other people. cities to impose it. But it is good
FROM THE QUARTERLY REVIEW. Old Ballads, Historical, &c. By Thomas Evans. Revised, &c. by his son, R. H. Evans.
4 vols. cr. 8vo. pp. 1504. London. 1810. Essays on Song Writing, &c. By John Aikin. A new edition, with Additions and
Corrections, and a Supplement By R. H. Evans. cr. 8vo. pp. 380. London. 1810. Vocal Poetry, or a Select Collection of English Songs. To which is prefixed, an Essay on Song Writing. By John Aikin, M. D. post 8vo. pp. 304 London. 1810.;
WE class these publications to- rious dissertations upon subjects gether, as being a species which connected with or tending to elucicharacteristick simplicity and the date the ancient ballads which they powerful union of musick renderi preceded. The arrangement of the generally acceptable, as well to specimens was so managed as to high-born dames in bower and hall, exhibit the gradation of language, as to the free maids that weave the progress of popular opinions, the their thread with bones.”
customs of former The reviver of minstrel poetry in ages, anıl the obscure passages of Scotland, was the venerable bishop our earlier classical poets. The plan of Dromore, who, in 1765, published of this publication was eminently his elegant collection of heroick calculated to remove the principal ballads, songs, and pieces of early obstacle which ne taste of the pepoets, under the title of Reliques riod offered to its success. To bring of Ancient English Poetry. The Philosophy from heaven to dwell plan of the work was adjusted in among men, it was necessary to de concert with Mr. Shenstone, but we vest her of some of her inore awful own we cannot regret that the exe, attributes, to array her doctrines in cution of it devolved upon Dr. Percy familiar language, and render them alone. It was divided into three vo. evident by popular illustration. But lumes, each forming a distinct series Dr. Percy had a different course to of ancient poetry, selected with pursue when conducting Legendary classical elegance, and interspersed Lore from stalls, and kitchens, and with modern imitations and speci- cottage chimneys, or at best, from inens of lyrick composition. The the dust, moths, and mould of the various subdivisions of the work Pepysian or Pearsonian collections, were prefaced by critical and cu- to be an inmate of the drawing