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stocks among human afflictions. From the East,
stocks found their way to Athens, the
headquarters of ancient civilisation, and they are
named (as the Podo kakke, or Foot Nuisance)
in the laws of Solon. Greece had her stocks.
There were stocks at Philippi, into which the
gaoler who had charge of Paul and Silas made
fast their feet. The past, therefore, upholds the
stocks. The present contumaciously rejects
them, and they would have vanished with the
thumbscrew and the pillory if there were not a
few men who have strayed out of the sixteenth
or seventeenth century blinking in wonderment
among us, and entrusted sometimes with the
management of business in a world that has
outgrown their opinions.

When the lady heard of the misfortune of Sir
Hudibras and the afflicted Ralpho, she set out
to do the office of a neighbour,
            And from his wooden gaol the stocks
            To set at large his fetter locks,
but after all, as she told him, she'd be loth to
have him
             An ancient custom for a freak,
             Or innovation introduce
             In place of things of antique use,
             Which if I should consent unto
             It is not in my pow'r to do;
             For 'tis a service must he done ye
             With solemn previous ceremony.

We have troubled ourselves to inquire a
little into the details of the case which has
directed our attention to this subject. .The
offence of " the man in the stocks" was, that he
had been drunk, was often drunk, and was too
poor to pay five shillings for thus offending. He
was placed in the stocks for the six hours
between eleven o'clock in the morning and five in
the evening. The stocks used on the occasion
had iron wrist fetters, which bound the victim
so that he could not sit down or help himself in
any way. In this manner the man hung in the
market-place during the heat of the day, with an
easterly wind assisting in his punishment. His
hat was blown off, and he would have been
uncovered if a bystander had not placed it on his
head again. A policeman was condemned to
share a part of this penance by standing as watch
over the prisoner during the whole six hours.
"But," somebody suggested to the watcher, " it
may be that you must release him for a minute or
two." " I am not allowed," was the reply. The
people of the town who found their way into the
market-place appeared to feel themselves insulted
by this exhibition. They had not seen a man in
the stocks for fifteen years, and then the machine
had so long been out of use, that it had been
necessary to make new stocks for the purpose.
Three men were exhibited in them on that
occasion, and the public indignation at their treatment
took the form of sympathy expressed in
beer. Those men were actually made drunk in
the stocks. This man was exhibited for having
been drunk.

A horse-jockey passed. He said, " If I served
a horse like that, I should be fined five pounds
by those very justices, for cruelty to animals."

A Queen's officer passed. He said, " If I
served one of the Queen's men like that, I should
be tried by a court-martial."

A lawyer passed. He said, " The man is not
placed in the right way."

A teetotaller stood by, and repudiated this
new argument against excess, declaring that it
disgusted reasonable men as much as drunkenness

But the culprit and the policemen bore the
punishments to which they were respectively
condemned, and homage was paid to the wisdom
of the days of James the First, by whose statute
the magistrates were justified in their discretion.
For, the old law, congenial to their souls, had said,
"If any person shall be drunk and thereof
convicted before one justice, on view, confession,
or the oath of one witness, he shall forfeit for
the first offence five shillings, to be paid within
one week after conviction to the churchwardens
for the use of the poor. If he refuse or neglect
to pay the same, it may be levied by distress, or
if the offender be not able to pay, he shall be
committed to the stocks, there to remain for the
space of six hours."

There is no ultimate punishment assigned in
case there should be no stocks in the parish.
For a man once fairly set in the stocks there is
no leg bail. No payment obtains any release.
That was a decision solemnly arrived at by the
whole Court of Queen's Bench in the case of a
poor fellow who was put in the stocks for two
hours because he had sold a pennyworth of fruit
on a Sunday.

We do not know in what repute the stocks
may be with country justices in other parts
of England, but we were surprised to find
that we could not ask questions about this
machine at Midhurst, without hearing of it at
Rogate also, where it has been recently the
subject of a local war. Rogate is only five
miles distant from Midhurst, in the extreme
west of Sussex. Twenty years ago, a gallant
colonel became possessed of the Rogate estate.
There were the remains of stocks then standing
about two feet from the churchyard gateas
they might be " the stocks that were in the high
gate of Benjamin, that was by the house of the
Lord." Last year, the stocks at Rogate having
been entirely swept away, the vicar missed the
comfortable presence of that little help upon the
road to heaven, and insisted on their restoration.
The colonel remonstrated. The vicar
threatened the churchwardens. New stocks
were erected. But, the colonel, though a magistrate,
would not be reconciled to this one
of the institutions of his church and country.
War was declared by him against the stocks,
and a great battle was fought last year iu the
parish vestry. The colonel sent his legal adviser
to object to the charge for " new stocks" in the
churchwardens' account. There was no victory
achieved then on either side. There was a
trace till the succeeding Eastertill last Easter.
And at the Easter vestry of the present year, the