592 TALKS ON ii AT THE FEET OF THE MASTER "
kind of severe punishment that was meted out; and,
\yith the population of England half what it is now,
the proportion of crime was my.ch greater than it is
now. The proportion of crime seems to have nothing
to do with the punishments meted out; it is a question
of general education and civilisation.
'This question of punishment by the law, or by the
school, signally fails to deter other people and, as
regards the man himself, it is nothing but a revenge,
because it has no relation to the crime committed.
Let us suppose a man steals something. You shut
him up in prison for a certain time. But what is the
relation between the two things ? He might reason-
ably be made to do some work which should return
the value of the article stolen to tJie person from
whom it was taken. The punishment should fit the
crime in some way. There should be some sort of
connection and some use in the thing. But to shut
a man up because he has stolen something is a kind
of nightmare. There is no connection between the
two things. No one tfees comanon-sense. A child
does not learn a certain lesson and they beat him.
What is the connection between the two things ? It
would be quite reasonable to say: " You have not
learnt the lesson ; you will be behind the other boys
in your class, therefore you must stay and learn it
when you would otherwise playing." There would
•be at least reason in that. There is no sense in the
other kind of thing, and it is radically w'rong. The