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brought nearly to their lowest rate by the competition of such multitudes in similar situations. One is greatly at a loss, therefore, to conceive what speculations can be entered into in that country, from the profits of which money can be repaid with 36 per cent. of interest. The truth, perhaps, is, that though this be the maximum fixed by the old law, the current rate is greatly inferiour; or, perhaps, borrowing at interest is pratised only by profligates and adventurers, from whom the chance of repayment is but small. At Canton, and in dealings with strangers, where the risk must be regarded as considerable, the actual rate of interest is from 12 to 18 per cent. only. Persons not paying the interest of their debts regularly, shall receive thirty lashes monthly, so long as they continue in arrear. It does not appear that the person of a debtor can be attached by his creditor. Mortgages have been long known in China, and many regulations made with regard to them; the interest in such cases varies from 10 to 15 per cent.

Waifed goods must be taken to the magistrate within five days; but, if not claimed within thirty, they are then given to the finder. Combinations to raise the prices of commodities are punished with forty blows; the use of false weights and measures with seventy; all lawful measures to be stamped after comparison with the government standard.

Pretty severe penalties are awarded against magicians, and the irregular worship of sectaries; but the law seems rather to have in view the tumults or conspiracies to which such practices may give encouragement, than the offence to religion. Families burning incense to the North Star during the night, are to be punished; and of magicians, it is said, that

"If they, having in their possession concealed images of their worship, burn

incense in honour of them, and they as semble their followers by night, in order to instruct them in their doctrines, and, by pretended powers and notices, endeavour to inveigle and mislead the multitude, the principal in the commission of such offences shall be strangled, after remaining in prison the usual period, and the accessaries shall severally receive 100 blows, and be perpetually banished to the

distance of 3000 lee.

soldiers or citizens, dress and ornament "If at any time the people, whether their idols, and after accompanying them tumultuously with drums and gongs, perform oblations and other sacred rites to their honour, the leader or instigator of blows." p. 175. such meetings shall be punished with 100

Sir George Staunton observes, in a note, that this latter clause must be regarded as obsolete, since the alleged offence is daily committed in open day throughout the whole extent of the empire. There is nothing said, expressly, on the subject of Christianity, in the laws upon sectarian worship, or elsewhere in the code; though sir George has printed, in the appendix, two edicts on the subject, issued in 1805, expressing great disapprobation of their doctrines.

If the emperour's physician compound any medicine in a manner "not sanctioned by established usage," he shall receive 100 blows. If there be any dirt in his imperial majesty's food, the cook shall re-, ceive eighty blows; and if any dish be sent up, without being previously tasted, he shall receive fifty. Finally, if any unusual ingredient be put into the food, the cook shall receive 100 blows, and be compelled to swallow the article!

The censors and provincial magistrates shall represent freely to the emperour whatever they think may conduce to the publick advantage. All publick officers of the first rank shall attend the emperour in a cer tain order. If any person about court impede or prevent their attendance, he shall suffer death. The magis trates 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 seiere 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 par-
communication 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 in-
all 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 estal.lishment of a govern- kill by absurd medicines, if without ment post has long been known as any malicious purpose, may also re. one of the ancient institutions of deem themselves, but must for ever China. There are various minute quit the profession. Hushands 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,

from ment. Any attempt to rescue the the following characteristick enactoffender after he is seized, is capital. ment. The pains of stealing rise in propor.

♡ In the case of a combat between two, tion to the value taken from sixty persons; and in the case of several perblows 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

effects, to have been received by their pretences, punished exactly as theft

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 Kia 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

may be


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injury sustained by Kia subjects Yee to a punishment of 100 blows only: neverthe less, if it appears that Kia only returned the attack, and had the right on his side, his punishment shall be reduced two degrees, and accordingly amount to eighty blows and two years banishment. On the contrary, if Yee only returned the attack, and had the right in the dispute, his punishment shall be reduced two degrees, and amount to 80 blows only; the punishment to which the antagonist is subjected, remaining in either case the same as before." p. 326, 327.

The punishment for striking an individual of the imperial blood is less severe than for striking an officer of the government. Persons inflicting

wounds are liable for their consequences, for twenty, thirty, or fifty days, according to the nature of the injury. If the sufferer die after the legal period, the assailant is not responsible. A slave striking a free man, suffers only one degree more severely than for an assault among equals; and vice versa; though a master may strike his slave with impunity, if it be done for correction, and do not cut. Striking parents is death in all cases. Wife striking husband is punished three degrees more severely than for a common assault; if she maim him, with death; if he die, with death by torture. If a father kill his child by excessive chastisement, a hundred blows. There is no warrant in the letter of the law for infanticide. If one kill another to revenge the slaughter of a parent, the punishment is only a hundred blows.

The author of all anonymous accusations against others, shall suffer death, although the charge should prove true. False and malicious accusations shall be punished with a pain two degrees more severe than the accused would have undergone, if the charge had been true. This, again, is exemplified by the anxiety of the legislator, through a great variety of imaginary cases. We shall give merely the general rule of equation.

"When any person accuses another of two or more offences, whereof the lesser only proves true; and when, in the case of a single offence having been charged by one person against another, the statement thereof is found to exceed the truth; upon either supposition, if the punishment of the falsely alleged, or falsely aggravated offence, had been actually inflicted in consequence of such false accu sation; the difference (estimated according to the established mode of computation hereafter exemplified) between the falsely alleged and the actually committed offence, or between the falsely alleged greater, and the truly alleged lesser offence, shall be inflicted on the false accuser; but if punishment, conformably to the nature of the falsely alleged, or falsely aggravated offence, shall not have actually been inflicted, having been prevented by a timely discovery of the falsehood of the accusation, the false accuser shall be permitted to redeem, according to an established scale, the whole of the punishment which would have been due to him in the former case, provided it does not exceed 100 blows; but if it should exceed 100 blows, the 100 blows shall be inflicted, and he shall be only permitted to redeem the excess. p. 366, 367.

There is a very long section on bribery, with a prodigious scale of punishments, as usual, according as the bribe is large or small, or taken for an innocent or a criminal object. The pains range from 60 blows with the bamboo to death; that extreme punishment being inflicted for taking more than 80 ounces of silver [under 301.] for an unlawful object, and 120 [or 601.] for a lawful one. Agreeing to take a bribe has the same punishment as actually taking it; offering or giving it a much lighter one; and if asked or extorted by an officer of government, no punishment at all,

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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 en- 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 tions 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 Chrisalmost 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

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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 thoupeace 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.”

and 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 the 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 deconcert 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 mens 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

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