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themselves on the railings, others rolled had somewhat spent itself, she found herself about in the grass—in fact, little nigs confronted by her master, who was standing swarmed everywhere; for the news that there, the unnoticed hearer and observer of “ Marse' Linkum's men” had come had the scene. Entering the room, he pointed spread like wildfire around the place; and to the door, but uttered not a word. His as Uncle Lamb led the horses away to water, look, however, was sufficient. The lightning each saddle was crowned with a little grin- of his eye was not to be defied. ning sprout of Ethiopia.
Early the next morning, just at sunrise, I But Venus's despotic sway reached a cul- was awakened from sleep by a sound of enminating point when, not long after this, her treaties and cries. Directed by the noise to mistress married a Baptist minister who the window looking out on the rear of the owned an adjoining plantation. He proved house, I went thither, and at first glance a stern master-one who believed slavery a saw a sight that fairly stupefied me withe “divine institution.” “Servants, obey your astonishment. It was a well-known fact masters," was a text from which, more Sun- that no slave on that place had ever felt the days than one, Venus herself had heard disgrace of the lash. Yet there was Venus, him harangue the crowd of black folks, with her back bared for the punishment. seated at the back part of the little country Surely, I thought, I must be dreaming. "Can church. And great was her glorification, I be awake?” I said, rubbing my eyes. Yes, when, in a very short space of time after the I was wide awake. Her hands were tied to"new marse'" assumed the reins of govern- gether and fastened to one of the posts of the ment, she saw Georgianna hired out for six rude porch over her kitchen door. months, as a punishment for disorderly con- side stood a negro man, from her new masduct. For a while this warning that inso- ter’s plantation, holding in one hand a small lence would no longer go unpunished bundle of lithe switches, in the other an upseemed to serve as a slight check upon her lifted rod, awaiting the order to descend, own hitherto uncontrolled tongue and tem- from the lips of his master, who sat on a log per. But one day, under some slight near by, smoking a cigar and listening to provocation, she let loose all this pent-up Venus's humbled tones entreating forgivevituperation on the head of her mistress, ness, which I silently prayed might be saying most unpardonable things. Mrs. granted. But when I recalled the terrible Blaydes, roused to unwonted indignation, look with which he had the day before sharply reprimanded her, and even went so driven her from his presence, and noted his far as to say that she would see to it that present air of unconcern, I felt that there she also should be hired out to some strict was no hope. Her mistress's intercession in master who would find means to correct her her behalf, which I learned had been tearful vicious ways and ugly temper, if ever again and persistent, had proved unavailing. she so transgressed the bounds of decency “She shall be whipped at sunrise to-morand respect. This threat proved of no avail, row," was the unswerving answer. save to intensify Venus's wrath. Apparently When I saw the first stroke descend and insane for the moment, with demoniacal heard the cry of pain that followed, I crept fury she seized a knife which lay on a table back to bed, feeling a sense of deathly sicknear her, and flourishing it in her mistress's ness stealing over me; and drawing the face, threatened her with an appalling fate coverlets over my head, I tried to shut out should such a humiliation ever be practiced the cries and prayers ringing in my ears. on her. The evil spirit which had so long At breakfast we were a silent family. The prompted her seemed at last to have taken mistress did not appear until evening. One full possession of her, with intent to drive thought was uppermost in the minds of us all her on to the disgraceful fate awaiting her. during the unusually quiet day that followTurning towards the door when her rage ed, but none spoke it. The next morning
it was announced at breakfast that Venus Georgianna was recalled, and Venus's fate was gone. During the night she had fled, seemed ever a warning to guard the girl's evidently with the intention of making her pert ways and tongue from further transgresway to one of the Federal camps near us. sion. As for the other little imps so long No effort was made to recover her by her under this sable tyrant's dominions, I shall master; and I am inclined to think that ever entertain serious doubts whether the when, in due course of time, Uncle Lamb's great “proclamation” itself impressed them freedom came to him, he did not compass with as realizing a sense of freedom from heaven and earth to find her. Her punish- bondage as did Aunt Venus's flight and ment was the first of that nature ever inflicted sudden abdication of her right to rule and on the place; it was also the last.
terrorize over them.
Sara Dixon Halsted.
In attempting to lay down a test by which sistency of them will not, perhaps, be unintera prisoner should be judged who is charged esting even to the non-professional reader; with the commission of a crime and is while it will clear the way for our underdefending himself by the plea of insanity, standing of their scientific errors, and of the the courts of England and of this country reforms that are needed in our criminal laws. have shown an inconsistency and a scientific In a very early case in England, Lord inaccuracy that astonish us. And to point Hale called attention to the distinction that out the variety of their tests and the incon- should be taken between persons wholly insane and those only partially so, the latter derangement.” This dictum, then, asserted, being those not wholly destitute of reason. as the criterion of legal responsibility for “This partial insanity,” he added, "seems crime, the prisoner's general ability to disnot to excuse them in the committing of tinguish right from wrong—a test entirely any offense for its matter capital.” The different from the test of Lord Hale and distinction thus pointed out was acted upon Mr. Justice Tracy. in later cases, and the legal responsibility of Lord Mansfield's dictum was followed by the prisoner decided by the question wheth- a period in which the courts seem not to er he was wholly or only partially insane. have definitely agreed upon any particular “It is not every kind of frantic humor,” said test, and to have fluttered in an uncertainty Mr. Justice Tracy, in 1723, at the trial of which was finally settled, at least for EngArnold for shooting at Lord Onslow, “or land and for that time, by the famous trial something unaccountable in a man's action, of McNaughten. McNaughten had shot that points him out to be such a madman and killed a Mr. Drummond under a deluas is exempted from punishment: it must be sion that the latter was persistently following a man that is totally deprived of his under- him about, maligning his character and standing and memory, and doth not know ruining his happiness. On his trial, in 1843, what he is doing, no more than an infant, though he seemed to have acted rationally than a brute, or a wild beast; such a one is enough in regard to his ordinary business, never the object of punishment." Such he was acquitted on the ground of insanity. was the early test of criminal responsibility Thereupon the House of Lords, feeling the
-a test referred to by Dr. Maudsley as necessity of some definite and authoritative “the wild-beast test," and now generally statement of the proper test of criminal acknowledged to be wrong.
responsibility, propounded to the judges This early test was effectively questioned certain questions on the subject; and the and was discarded (at any rate, by the jury answers of the judges to these questions for who acquitted the prisoner) on the trial of a long time governed the decisions of all Hadfield, in 1800, for shooting at the king. courts. Three extracts from these answers 1 Mr. Erskine, who defended the prisoner, will give the essence of them : declaimed against the absurdity of the old 1. “To establish a defense on the groun:1 criterion-the wild-beast test--and argued of insanity, it must be clearly proved that, that no such madness ever existed; that in- at the time of committing the act, the party sane persons had the most perfect knowledge accused was laboring under such a defect of their surroundings and acts, and had, in of reason, from disease of mind, as not to general, been remarkable for their subtlety know the nature and quality of the act he and acuteness; and that delusion was the was doing; or, if he did know it, that he did kind of insanity that should be exempt from not know he was doing what was wrong.” punishment. "Delusion, therefore, where 2. “If a person, under an insane deluthere is no frenzy or raving madness, is the sion as to existing facts, commits an offense true character of insanity.” But the first im- in consequence thereof,” then, “on the portant judicial modification of Lord Hale's assumption that he labors under a partial doctrine was in 1812, when, at the trial of delusion only, and is not in other respects Bellingham for the murder of Mr. Spencer insane, he must be considered in the same Perceval, Lord Mansfield, in speaking of situation as to responsibility as if the facts, persons who acted under the delusion of a with respect to which the delusion exists, fancied injury, said that “if such a person were real. For example: if, under the inwere capable, in other respects, of distin- fluence of delusion, he supposes another guishing right from wrong, there was no man to be in the act of attempting his life, excuse for any act of atrocity which he
1 See 1o CI, & Fin. 210; also Hans. Parl. Deb., vol, might commit under this description of 67, p. 728.
and he kills that man, as he supposes, in from the tests applied in the earlier English self-defense, he would be exempt from pun- cases. While Lord Hale and Mr. Justice ishment. If his delusion was that the Tracy had exempted from liability only deceased had inflicted a serious injury to those who had “neither memory nor underhis character and fortune, and he killed him standing of any sort,” and while
Lord in revenge for such supposed injury, he Mansfield had exempted only those who would be liable to punishment."
lacked a general capacity for distinguishing 3. Lastly, it is said that, notwithstanding right from wrong, both of these tests are his delusion, the prisoner "is, nevertheless, here abandoned, and there is first substipunishable if he knew, at the time of com- tuted for them the test of whether the prismitting such crime, that he was acting oner knew that he was doing what was contrary to the law."
wrong. That is, for Lord Mansfield's test Now it is clear from these extracts that of a general appreciation of right and several different tests are proposed by them. wrong is substituted the appreciation of the Considering the first and third extracts rightfulness or wrongfulness of the particutogether, it is evident that the prisoner's lar act constituting the crime. The docknowledge that he was acting contrary to trine thus laid down in 1843 has, as law is a very different thing from his said above, been extensively followed since, knowledge that he was doing what was and is the accepted law in California. In wrong, since almost any one's conviction of the cases of The People v. Coffmanl and the rightfulness of an act, in se, is not at The People v. Hoin,decided in 1864 all unlikely to co-exist with a complete and 1882 respectively, the answers of the knowledge of its illegality. The test of the judges to the House of Lords are referred second extract, moreover, differs from both to and adopted almost verbatim. The the others; and by assuming as true facts the same may be said of Judge Cox's charge in phantasms of the lunatic's delusion, boldly the Guiteau trial, where, after telling the attempts to judge him on that basis.
It jury that they must decide whether the seems to aim at probing the conscience of shooting of President Garfield
was the the prisoner at the time he was committing prisoner's own act or the result of a mental the crime; and yet it asks no question as to disease, the judge added that, in determinwhether he knew the wrongfulness of that ing this question, they must simply consider act, or its illegality, or whether he had the whether or not, at the time of the shooting, power to refrain from it; but says that, while Guiteau knew the moral nature of the act admitting that the data on which he acted he was committing, whether or not he knew were furnished by a diseased mind, yet it that it was wrong: if he did, they must find will assume him to have reasoned cor- him sane. rectly from those data—will assume him to Since the establishment of this "right have understood that his act was wrong or and wrong” test in England, some of the was illegal, and to have had the power to American courts have adopted tests
of refrain from it; and will punish him just as criminal responsibility which differ from any it would punish a sane person who had of the tests that have been mentioned acted under the same data. The scientific above. The Pennsylvania courts, for exinaccuracy and the confusion of purpose ample, scrutinize the prisoner's power of involved in this second extract are too evi- self-control, rather than his appreciation of dent to require comment.
the moral nature of his act; while New But it is the test of the first extract—the Hampshire courts apply no test whatever, “right and wrong” test-which has proved but leave to the jury the broad question of most useful to the courts, and which has whether or not the prisoner's act was the been most extensively followed. And it is
1 evident that this test is essentially different
2 10 P. C. L. J. 403.
result of insanity. But, although these of others like them, that the strength of the courts have not been without others who criminal impulse in the lunatic co-exists followed their example, yet by far the great with the most exact knowledge of the wrong er number of the American courts have he is about to do—nay, even of the remorse followed strictly in the line of the English that he is sure to feel after the act is done ? decisions; and the right and wrong" test, In these cases, there remained sufficient enunciated in the replies of the judges, is will-power, sufficient self-control, to check the predominant test in America, as well as the crime by destroying the opportunity. in England. 1
In a more advanced case of insanity, the So much for the doctrines of the courts will would have been weaker, the impulse concerning criminal responsibility. Now, would have conquered, and the criminal act how have the scientists agreed with them? have been committed,--all with a complete Their doctrines have been very different. knowledge of the wrongfulness of the inAmongst physicians, especially amongst tended act, of its illegality, and of the pain those who devote themselves to the study of and horror that it would entail upon him mental disease, the judicial tests of responsi- who committed it. Who can doubt, then, bility have been generally condemned. Why that, under the test proposed by the English make the perception of the wrongfulness or judges and applied in California, many a illegality of the criminal act the test of re- person might be punished for an act which sponsiblility, say the doctors, when it is
was no more the result of his own volition known by every one who deals with insane than are the blows that are given by a man persons that many of them have the most who has fallen in an epileptic fit? It would perfect knowledge of the nature and con- be better, say some of the doctors1 (and sequences and moral wrong of their acts? some of the judges, also 2), to substitute Think of the cases where insane persons irresistible impulse as the test, and to exonhave asked for protection against themselves, erate those whose criminal acts were caused have feared that they would commit some by an impulse that was beyond their conterrible crime if the opportunity to do so trol. were not taken from them; think of the And yet, say other doctors, it must be acman who felt the impulse to kill his little knowledged that the criterion of an irresistgirl coming over him, and who called out to ible impulse would be about as unsatisfactory her to leave the room, because he feared and as unscientific as the test proposed by the that if she remained he would yield to his English judges. It is certain that many crimiimpulse; or of the lunatic in the asylum nals who have acted without any such imwho, as the physician entered his room, pulse as is here spoken of,-many, even, threw his knife and fork violently out of the who have shown, at the time of their crimes, window, because, as he afterwards said, a the utmost calmness and deliberation,—have sudden desire to kill the physician had come yet committed their crimes solely by reason upon him, and he knew he could not resist of insanity; and such men would it if the weapons for the deed were in his ceive no better protection from the test hands. These are cases on the borderland of an irresistible impulse than from the of insanity-cases, therefore, by which we English "right and wrong" test. Dr. are able to follow the transition from the Maudsley mentions the case of a young man sane state to the insane; and does it not ap- who had an insane propensity for watching pear from these cases, and from the dozens the revolutions of windmills; for hours he 1 This “right and wrong" test has been adopted by would sit on the hillside, near a number of the Supreme Courts of the following states:-Maine, windmills, and gaze at them. The insanity New York, New Jersey, Delaware, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, 1 See Taylor's Med. Jurispr. (2nd Am. ed.) p. 640. Texas, Tennessee, Missouri, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and
2 See Commonwealth v. Haskell, 2 Brewster (Pa.) California.