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to which we are most strongly opposed. The
compulsory industrial education of neglected
children, and the severe punishment of
neglectful and unnatural parents, are reforms
to which we must come, doubt it who may.
We can no more hope to make any great
impression upon crime, without those changes,
than we could hope to extinguish Mount
Vesuvius, in eruption, with a watering-pot, or
stop its flood of lava with a knitting-needle.


It must be known to most readers familiar
with the beaten highways of Germany, that
there are a class of persons who circulate
from land to land, in company with a
knapsack and a Wellington boot hanging on each
side of it. They are called Handwerksburschen,
a long word signifying a journeyman, or,
rather, apprentice. These lads are, according
to a law which has been much eulogised,
though its prudence may be doubted,
compelled to travel for a certain time over foreign
countries, to learn such improvements in their
trade as they can pick up; and, their travels
over, they are obliged to submit a specimen
of their handiwork to the local authorities
before they are allowed to commence their
trade. The presence of such a number
of roving young vagabonds, with quick
blood and high spirits, ripe for any mischief,
and incapable of reasoning on consequences,
would be extremely to be dreaded by the
quiet portion of the community, were they
not restrained by very stringent laws; and,
therefore, it is by no means likely that they
would be let alone by the paternal and
meddling governments of Germany, who are
always providing for every possible and
impossible contingency in small things, though
they leave all great and important questions
to take care of themselves. And, in some
measure to check the excesses of these youthful
travellers, it has been decreed that each
should carry a small book, in which every
person who employs him, for no matter
how short a time, should write him a
character, and note any complaints he may have
to make. This book must be kept, and
forthcoming for the inspection of the local
authorities on his return home, and of course his
future position depends very much on its
contents. It gives, also, an equal security to the
employer, who may be thus secured from
receiving an idle or good-for-nothing fellow
into his house; and the only objection to the
thing seen is, that sometimes a slight and
youthful folly might acquire undue gravity
and publicity, and follow a man painfully
throughout his after-life.

The system, good or bad, has been recently
applied in Austria, by an order of the
police, to domestic servants, every one of
whom is bound henceforth to keep a character
book, and to get each character stamped and
verified by the local police. No master is
allowed to send a servant away without a
character, or to write a bad one without
giving satisfactory reasons for it. The latter
is an admirable regulation; but we scarcely
know how to characterise another which
existed formerly, to the effect, that no master
was allowed, under any circumstances, to give
a bad character to a servant, and was actionable
if he did so, because, said the police,
"If your servant rob you, or commit any other
crime, we punish him, and after having undergone
his punishment once, it is unjust that he
should do so again." Such reasoning is,
however, altogether sophistical, and the regulation
was of course evaded by a practice of obtaining
the character of a servant personally from
his last employer.

Another regulation, which exists also
abroad, may, perhaps, reconcile even an
Englishman in some degree to the passport
system; viz.—On taking a new servant, the
employer receives his passport; and as, without
a passport, no one can travel, the advantage
of this management is obvious, as a very
great security against dishonesty and
misconduct. If here again the question should
arise, whether such stringent laws are not
harsh, and that in dealing with poor weak,
erring human beings, Justice should be tempered
with extreme mercy, and this especially in
the case of an ignorant and unfriended class;
that such laws would make one little fault
irreparable, and thrust the offenders for ever
without the pale of mercy, inasmuch, as no
one, knowing him guilty, would employ him;
it must be remembered that it is peculiarly
in the power of servants to commit crimes
from the confidence reposed in them, and that
the peace and security of every family is at
stake on such a question.

It might be a suggestion not undeserving
of notice, that every person intending to
become a domestic servant, should be
compelled to present themselves at a District
Office, established for the purpose, and
state their intention; receiving at the same
time a book in which their future
character should be written. The signature of
the employer in all cases to be witnessed
like any other formal legal document. Lastly,
that all servants out of employ, should be
called upon to report themselves, and state
their residence and present manner of
obtaining a livelihood; for, we believe there
does not exist a more dangerous class
of men than London men-servants without

In conjunction with this latter suggestion,
the benevolent should be loudly called
upon to give their assistance to Servants'
Homes. These establishments afford, besides
residences, assistance to the deserving when
out of situations, to save them from the strong
temptations of hunger and houselessness.
Such institutions are in part supported by
the contributions of those who, being in
want of servants, apply to it to obtain

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