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I AM a medical practitioner, the author
of a little work on Whitlows. As I sit
at this moment I see the little work bound
neatly—"Cook on Whitlows"—lying upon
the table of my consulting room. When I
look round my walls upon my bookshelves I
see works by the hundred on detached subjects.
There is a work upon diseases of the heart
and lungs; there are several others quite as
long on asthma, or consumption. There are
works upon dyspepsia, rheumatism, fevers,
gunshot wounds, diseases of the knee-joint or
of the skin; there are systems of medicine,
systems of surgery, treatises upon the whole
contents of the apothecary's shop, and elaborate
works upon the uses of a single medicine.

Now, although we medical writers are
rather apt to fall into the Whole Hog course
of action, and to grind, each of us at his own
subject, as if there were no other in the
world; although one of us refers everything
to the heart, another to the lungs, another to
the stomach, another to gun-shot wounds,
another to the knee-joint, and another to the
skin; and although I myself have a strong
impression that there is a latent whitlow at
the bottom of rheumatic gout; still, I am
tempted to ask myself the question, when
will there be as good a library provided for
the uses of the moralist or statesman? When,
apart from the Rabbinical traditions of the
law books, shall he have ready to his use,
works as elaborate and philosophical upon
the Principles of Crime as we have on the
Principles of Medicine?

In a by-street, this very morning, I saw at
the door of a small oil-shop a cart heaped
with bundles of firewood. The carter was
discussing matters with the shopkeeper
inside the house. A child not five years old
crept furtively along the pavement with a
wicked, craven glance towards the shop-door,
and when he was near enough sprang at the
cart and snatched from the bottom of it one
loose stick. With that treasure he sped
away as fast as baby legs could carry him,
turning back every now and then a face that
looked as cowardly and villanous as though it
were that of a grown man flying guilty from
before the cry of murder. The cry of "Stop
thief!" was raised after this little varlet by a
child of his own age, with lustrous eyes, long
eyelashes and an emaciated down-covered face.
You boy who cry stop thief! I said to myself,
are scrofulous. My books explain you to me.
I know how far, and in what manner, I can
do you good. The other child is suffering as
evidently under some moral disease, but how
would that be regarded, if Iusing my longer
legsshould overtake the sufferer, and then
submit him to the notice of the doctor
authorised by law to treat such cases? Deep-
seated and serious as the mischief in his case
evidently is, either nothing would be done, I
think, or something very useless; an expensive
remedy might be applied in such a way as to
confirm and strengthen the disease. Political
economy is but a part of social science. I
would say it is the physiology of the civil
constitution. You may base your morbid
anatomy upon it, and much also of your
medicine and surgery, but those studies have
yet to be placed on scientific ground. You
have also your whole system of materia
medica, of remedies, to form into a study, before
your knowledge can be brought to bear with
accurate effect on crime.

Nevertheless, some little houses have
already been run up on this new plot, and I
have lately seen a book letteredjust as we
label "Solly on the Brain," or "Budd on the
Liver,"—Hill on Crime. I sat down before
it with an appetite, and read it through. As
a book, in spite of the old proverb, is a
cake that you can eat and have, the volume
remained whole upon the table after it had
been devoured. I propose now to mince a
little of it, or I should rather say, as a
professional man, to exhibit it in the form of a
single draught.

In the first place, it is made evident in
Mr. Hill's book that the amount of crime has
decreased greatly since the good old times,
because the predisposing and exciting causes
(upon which the author duly treats) have
decreased very much in strength.

Highway robbery was once regarded as
a gentlemanly, spirited amusement. Assaults
upon watchmen were so regarded in the
memory of many of us, but in the really
good old times it was no great stain upon
the youth even of a Chief Justice if, like
Sir John Popham, he sallied out at night as
captain of a desperate band, to stop travellers

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