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THE MARK OF THE BEAST

There is not a very large population in New Zealand—not quite half a million of whites—but the number of crimes against morality, oh the nature of that for which Longliurstjp.it Wellington has just been sentenced to the lash, and a ten years’ imprisonment, are alarmingly frequent. Scarcely a sitting of the Supreme Court is held, but one or more instances of this sort occur, and every district of the colony contributes its quota to the filthy catalogue. We will not attempt to assign any reason for the frequency of these offences, and only deplore the low moral tone they indicate. They are the outcome of a brutal and debased nature, and when a man permitshis unclean passions, the worst of our human nature, to carry him into the commission of acts against which all the better nature of humanity revolts, it is necessary that the pruning knife should be mercilessly applied. To be capable of such offences, men must have sunk to the level of the brutes, and as such they should be punished. Cowardly in the extreme, they must be, as the brutal always are ; and there is only one deterrent influence that society can make use of—viz., the lash. For desperate diseases desperate remedies are required, and the grovelling and sensual coward can only bo taught to restrain his unclean propensities through the only appeal his deadened feelings seem to understand, and that is the whip. Not long ago the larger cities of England were terrorised over by gangs of garrotters, and it was scarcely safe to walk the streets. So soon as these liers-in-wait found that conviction meant a well-whipped hide garrotting became unpopular, and the professional thief respected the person. We believe in the lash for the hide of the sensualist, when simple imprisonment has no effect upon him, and heartily coincide with the conduct of the Judges who make a whipping part of the sentence of each prisoner convicted of gross sensual crime. It is intolerable that little girls cannot play in safety away from their homes without being set upon by those moral vampires whom we find exist amongst us, but only learn of their existence when the police succeed in running them to earth. Such, we say again, fear only one punishment—the cat-o’-nine tails. Let them have it, and let them know that every offence against children’s purity will meet this punishment from the lusty arm of a prison warder.

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THE MARK OF THE BEAST Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 85, 10 April 1880

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