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present we would change the subject, and very powerful confirmatory proof of the allude to the discoveries recently made by derivation of man from some lower form Mr. Calvert, which seem to point to the belonging to the order of primates. Since existence of human beings in the Miocene the period during which man has possessed period. Sir John Lubbock writes to Na- sufficient intelligence to leave a traditional ture, of March 27th, that he has learned by record of himself is but a minute fraction letter certain results obtained near the of the period during which he has existed Dardanelles by Mr Frank Calvert, which upon the earth, it is but fair to conclude are of striking significance for the antiquity that during those long ages of which none of man. Mr. Calvert has found a fragment but a geologic record of his existence reof a bone, either of a mastodon or of a di mains, he was by slow increments acquiring notherium, on the corner side of which is that superior intelligence which now so engraved a representation of a horned widely distinguishes him from other ani. quadruped, with arched neck, lozenge- mals. Throughout an enormous period of shaped chest, long body, straight fore-legs, time, his brain-structure and its correlated and broad feet.” Along with this are traces intellectual and emotional functions must of other figures, partly obliterated. In the have been gradually modified by natural same stratum Mr. Calvert has found “a selection and by direct adaptation, while flint fake, and several bones broken as if his outward physical appearance has unfor the extraction of marrow.”
dergone few modifications; even the most Of course these statements await verifi- striking of these being directly or indirectly cation, and to draw a positive conclusion associated with increase in brain-structure. from them at present would be in the high- These inferences are in harmony with the est degree unwarrantable. It can only be beautiful principle announced by Mr. Wal. said that if these data are verified, and if it lace, that so soon as the intelligence of an turns out that Mr. Calvert is not mistaken animal has, through ages of natural selection in the character of the stratum which he and direct adaptation, become so considerahas been examining, the antiquity of the ble that a slight variation in it is of more use human race will have to be computed in to the animal than any variation in physical millions of years rather than, as heretofore, structure, then such variations will be more in hundreds of thousands. But in this and more constantly selected, while physthere need be nothing to surprise us. The ical variations, being relatively of less vital non-existence of human remains in any importance to the species, will be more Tertiary strata (save possibly in the up and more neglected. Thus while the expermost Pliocene) has been an assumption ternal appearance, and his internal nutritive based on purely negative evidence, like the and muscular apparatus, may vary but litolder assumption as to the non-existence tle in many ages, his intellectual and moral of fossiliferous rocks below the Silurian. attributes and his cerebral structure will We must be prepared at any moment, on vary with comparative rapidity. Thus we the reception of positive evidence, to ex may understand why man differs so little in tend our conceptions of the antiquity of general physical structure and external man, as well as of the number and duration appearance from the other higher primates, of geologic epochs.
while in the special point of cerebral structThe immense antiquity of the human ure and accompanying intelligence he difrace, even as at present established at fers so widely from his nearest living consomething like a million of years, affords geners.
ECENT events, as they say in France, than before. The mystery as to his real
connected with civil-service reform intentions we have not much hope of may be briefly summarized in this way. being able to dispel, because we do not beMr. Curtis has resigned the chairmanship lieve that General Grant himself underof the Civil-Service Advisory Board, on stands the meaning of civil-service reform the ground that several important appoint well enough to have well-defined intenments, recently made, showed that the Pres. tions on the subject. But some light may ident was unfaithful both to the letter and be thrown on the causes of the present the spirit of the civil-service regulations. confusion by one or two considerations Mr. Medill has resigned from the board, on which are generally overlooked. the ground that his holding the two offices What is civil-service reform? We have of Mayor of Chicago and Civil-Service all been talking about it with great veheCommissioner is incompatible with the rule mence for the past six or seven years, but issued some time ago by the President, for sometimes it seems as if we had ourselves bidding United States officials from hold forgotten what is its essential feature and ing State or municipal offices. The Presi. fundamental peculiarity. It is generally dent has publicly renewed his declaration spoken of as a political reform, like minorof fidelity to civil-service reform, both in ity representation or the abolition of special letter and in spirit. The President has re legislation. Yet its nature in reality is quested Mr. F. L. Olmsted to accept the rather moral than political. It is not chairmanship vacated by Mr. Curtis. Mr. merely that we wish to put an end to rotaOlmsted has declined. The President has tion, and introduce stability of tenure ; we requested Mr. Dorman B. Eaton of New wish besides this, or rather by these means, York to the place of Mr. Curtis, and Mr. to introduce into the American system the Shellabager of Ohio to take that of Medill. virtues of subordination, of obedience, of Mr. Eaton having accepted the appoint faithfulness in the discharge of duty, of rement, it was immediately denied that he spect for law, and to put an end to the had been appointed at all; and at the same recklessness, the extravagance, the lawtime it was announced that the rules were lessness, selfishness, and corruption which to be modified so as to enable the President now characterize it. Civil-service reform to select as appointees for positions in the is merely a piece of machinery for giving civil service men who were more in sym sober, industrious, and thorough people pathy with the administration than the
the power and influence of which they have competitive system seems likely to produce. become, by force of circumstances, deFor the latest fact or rumor on the subject prived. The essence of it is, after all, not we must refer the reader to the newspa the adoption of a series of rules for the pers; but of this at least there is no doubt
examination of candidates for Treasury that Mr. Olmsted and Mr. Eaton were ac clerkships, but a real devotion on the part tually approached on the subject, and that
of the reforming power to those virtues we either selection was good. Mr. Eaton is a have named, a profound belief in the necestrained lawyer, a trained politician, and a sity of elevating the tone of the governtrained reformer. He has studied politics ment; in short, a little of that sacred " pastoo in the great national hot-bed of rota sion of perfection ” which leads men in tion and corruption, the city of New York. troubled times to sacrifice to the general He knows what the evils of the present good their selfish appetites and love of ease. system are, and how they ought to be rem Without this spirit, there can be no life in edied. If there were no Caseys and no the rules. Sharpes in the service, the selection of Mr. General Grant, however, has never given Eaton might be accepted as a complete the public any reason to believe that he is vindication of the President's honesty. But possessed by this spirit, while he has given under all the circumstances, it merely a thousand reasons for believing that he is serves to render the existing confusion not. It is true that, if we go back to the on the subject of the relation of General opening of his first administration, we find Grant to the civil service more confused him announcing his determination to turn
the cold shoulder to the politicians, and much of General Grant's apparently ecmake his appointments without regard to centric conduct. General Grant belongs any other claims than those of fitness. to a generation which had other ideas than We have no doubt that he was sincere in those with which ours is familiar. He his professions, for he did nominate a Cab. belongs to the period of American life net, selected with a view to what he con when the energies of the country were sidered fitness, and in doing so declared mainly occupied in “developing our vast war upon the politicians, as he had promised. resources," and boașting of our vast ex. But it proved a bloodless conflict. He grew ploits; when all that was asked of an Amer. very tired of it. He was fond of popularity ican was, that he should be ready to lend a and ease, and in a few months a truce was helping hand, whenever it was needed. declared. From that time to this he has General Grant, like thousands of others of not troubled himself about the matter. He us, was brought up to believe that ours is has allowed "the machine” to be worked the best government the sun ever shone by the old crew for their own profit, quite upon, and he believes it still. Besides this, content himself if they will work it without his military education and experience, pestering him with questions for which he which we all supposed five years ago would has by nature and education no disposition certainly have prepared his mind for that to deal. It would not be difficult to select kind of disgust at the existing political from the principal acts of General Grant's régime which would throw him into the readministration those in which he himself form camp, seems to have had in fact a pretook a lively interest ; for when he does take cisely opposite effect. It has produced in a lively interest in anything, he is apt to make him only that spirit of adaptability to his friends and supporters, as well as his the political status quo which is a virtue enemies, understand the fact. He did take in a general, and a vice in a general who a lively interest in the annexation of San has undertaken to play the part of a states. Domingo. This was evident enough both
The civil service he is willing from his messages, and from the urgency enough should be reformed, as he would with which he half publicly importuned probably be willing that the Methodist members of Congress. He took a warm church should be reformed; but he does interest in the Indian peace policy. He not wish to be troubled about it. The peo. has showed a persistent determination to ple have seemed to desire some civil-ser. keep his brother-in-law Casey in the New vice rules, and he has got them made. He Orleans Custom-House, and to support his is willing enough that they should be engovernment of Louisiana by force of arms forced, so long as they do not conflict with if necessary. He has also wished, in an his own plans; but if they do, so much evident but unintelligent sort of way, to re the worse for the rules. It was the mis. duce taxation, to pay off the national debt, fortune of Mr. Curtis to mistake General and to get the currency into a sound condi Grant for a reformer, and this mistake tion ; we say unintelligent, because he has undoubtedly made the situation absurd; never pretended to have any definite ideas but we should not shut our eyes to the fact on economical subjects, except some an that a great deal has been accomplished by tique exploded fallacies which can hardly getting the machinery in operation; with a be supposed to furnish the grounds for his resolute and sceptical man at the head of practical recommendations, so long as we the board, determined that the rules shall be have the much more plausible explanation, enforced in any case, much may be done in that he has allowed his Secretary of the the next three years. General Grant's very Treasury to drift him into a policy of which love of repose and popularity would make he neither understands the virtues nor the him play the part of a reformer, in course defects. The general desire of the country of time ; and his rules will be enforced as that England should pay the Alabama soon as some one is found who will make claims he undoubtedly shared, but he it easier for him to enforce than to suspend shared it with that perfect confidence of or modify them. success in the end which prevented any - The curious effect which a legal false. violent longing or imperious demands. hood perpetuated for a number of generaBut San Domingo and Casey were very tions may have in confusing the judgment near his heart.
and perverting the moral notions of a peoThis indifference to reform, rather than ple is very strikingly shown in the case of opposition to it, we will believe, explains the “presumption in favor of innocence”
favored by the traditions of the English and must prove the connection of the prisoner American common law. It was long ago with the crime is the same reason which laid down that the "common law favored compels any one who brings a civil action life, liberty, and dower,” though, with char to prove that he has some ground of suit. acteristic obscurity, the grounds of this The government says that a certain man, selection were never explained. Why woman, or child has committed a certain “dower" should have been selected as the crime; of course such a charge, like any only kind of property to be protected, ex other affirmative statement, must be proved. cept on the ground of the common law's But there is, rationally speaking, no pre“tenderness for married women,” it is diffi- sumption at all in the case. In case of a cult to see. Certainly it was pretty much failure of justice from want of proof, the the only evidence of tenderness ever given; common law, with its presumption in favor for during the existence of marriage, the of innocence, says that nothing having been law considered “the husband and wife as proved, the prisoner is innocent, and forthone, and that one the husband.” “Life”
with gives him the benefit of a verdict of and “liberty" are vague, general terms, too, “not guilty," from which reason and mowhich comprehend the life and liberty of rality alike revolt. The only verdict which the murderer as well as of the victim, the expresses the truth is the Scotch verdict of robber as well as the robbed, the felon con “not proven." demned by this same law to be hung to The absurdity of the notion that there is morrow, and the judge who condemns any presumption in the case of a man him. Indeed the maxim was so very vague, brought before a jury to be tried for the that hardly any serious attempt was ever commission of a crime may be seen in this made to explain its limits, except that so way. A presumption is merely a probabilfar as “life.” was concerned, there was a ity derived from the observed facts of life. presumption the case of a criminal accu It is an inference “ drawn by a process of sation that the accused was innocent, and probable reasoning," “ affirmative or disaf. that the accusing party must prove sub- firmative,” of a fact in the absence of proof stantively his connection with the crime. or until proof can be attained. For example,
The presumption in question, however, there is a presumption that a man who was rationally rests, whatever may be its histor. last seen several years ago in an open boat ical or judicial origin, on no such founda- far out at sea, in a violent storm, and has tion as the prejudice of the common law in never been heard from since, is dead. There favor of life and liberty. It was not be is a presumption that when a letter has been cause certain judges and lawyers whose sent through the mail, it has reached its destiminds were deeply impregnated with the nation. There is a presumption that a child spirit of common law, on inquiring of born in wedlock is legitimate. No sensible their legal consciousness what they liked, man can deny the correctness of these inreceived as a reply, “life, liberty, and dow- ferences, because he knows that ninety-nine er,” and in reply to the opposite question, children out of a hundred born in wedlock “death, incarceration, and the abolition of are legitimate ; ninety-nine letters out of a dower”; it was for a far wider and saner hundred sent by mail do reach their desti
The “presumption ” exists in nation; ninety-nine out of a hundred who the civil as well as in the common law, and disappear in a storm at sea in an open boat was part of the established Aryan jurispru- are drowned. Therefore, in the absence dence as long ago as the trial of Socrates of proof, he would say that there was prefor corrupting the minds of the Athenian ponderance of probability in favor of these youth. When a crime has been committed conclusions. But no man could possibly and an arrest has been made, and the gove say that, in the case of any one arrested on ernment or the injured party have accused suspicion of a criminal act, there was a the prisoner, there is no presumption a probability that it had not been committed priori of guilt or of innocence. There is by the suspected person. Whence could really no reason a priori why, in the absence such an inference arise ? Not certainly of proof (and of course, so far as the jury is from a comparison of the number of cases concerned, there has been no proof what in which such a conclusion would be corever, no matter what evidence may have rect with those in which it would be incor. been adduced before the committing magis. rect. Indeed it seems much more probatrate), one man'should be tried more than ble that, in a majority of cases, persons another. The reason why the prosecutor arrested for crime are guilty.
Nevertheless, the fact of the existence pulse of passion, but as a means of getof the presumption in the common law that ting their living — there is clearly a very every man is innocent until he is proved strong presumption that, when found in guilty, must be admitted ; and the pre their usual “beats,” they are there for no sumption has imbedded itself in and be good purpose. There are thousands of come part of the mental constitution of the these “professionals ” in London, in New English race. In America, especially, York, in Boston, and every other great city; the legal tone given to public opinion by the police know them, and generally know the old school of constitutional politicians what they are about. But they come and gave vague maxims of this sort a powerful go in hotels, cars, and steamboats, prowl hold on the national mind, the more so in about the streets at night, or have mysterithe case of the presumption in favor of in ous interviews with “fences" and "brokers,” nocence that it harmonized with the pre- comparatively free from danger ; they may vailing feeling of laissez faire and general be arrested, to be sure, but, unless their sympathy with everybody. The number of connection with some particular crime can swindling contractors, disreputable lawyers, be proved, they return to their predatory and degraded politicians who have tri lives. A bill is now pending in the State umphed over their enemies within the of New York for the regulation of this past few years by the simple fact that noth class of criminals, founded on recent Enging had been “proved ” against them is lish legislation, the design of the bill being incalculable. Although every one knew in to make the presumption in the case of many of these cases that the wealth of the habitual criminals favor guilt instead of incontractors, lawyers, and politicians in nocence. If the bill passes, it will be posquestion could not be accounted for ex sible to arrest in public places any one cept by fraudulent profits, corruption of known to be an "habitual criminal,” take judges, or the purchase and sale of votes, him into court, and, instead of being obliged nevertheless, every man was presumed to to prove something against him, oblige him be innocent, and in fact was innocent, until to prove that he was, at the time of his he was proved to be guilty. At last a case arrest, engaged in some lawful business, or happened in which the point of sheer ab be sent to prison. It is easy to see what surdity was reached. Fisk, who, after years the effect of such a law rigidly enforced spent in open thieving, during which he would be. To give a good account of himhad on one occasion confessed that he was self is exactly what the habitual criminal, a “robber,” and had “sold his soul,” and whether he be thief, pickpocket, burglar, on another had broadly hinted that he kept or “ fence,” or “ broker,” cannot do; he murderers in his employ, and who was
would be driven either into less dangerous known throughout the world as the most occupations, or be kept in an almost pernotorious and shameless rascal of this cent petual confinement, or else be forced to ury, finally found a defender in Mr. George change his place of residence. Ticknor Curtis, who gravely announced his We may say, in conclusion, that while it is opinion, on the strength of the common never well to treat a serious subject with law presumption, that Fisk ought to be levity, still it is not easy to avoid a smile considered an innocent man. This was a at the idea of the introduction of this bill little beyond the endurance even of a com in Albany. There must be something mon-law-abiding people, and certainly in ludicrous in it to members of the New New York the old presumption has never York Legislature themselves. Almost any had such a good standing since.
thoughtful member might enjoy a quiet But the presumption still exists in the laugh over the fate which has put into minds of lawyers and judges, and it stands such hands as his the supervision of very clearly in the way of the good admin- criminals. It would be very difficult to istration of criminal justice in a certain discriminate, in the forum of morals or of class of cases. In the case of “ habitual law, between certain classes of " habitual criminals”- criminals who commit offences, criminals " and certain classes of habitual not, as most people do, from a sudden im- politicians.