Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of Humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.
-- Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar.
CAPTAIN COOK found Australia in 1770, and eighteen years later the British government began to transport convicts to it. Altogether, New South Wales received eighty-three thousand in fifty- three years. The convicts wore heavy chains; they were ill-fed and badly treated by the officers set over them; they were heavily punished for even slight infractions of the rules; "the cruelest discipline ever known" is one historian's description of their life.1
English law was hard-hearted in those days. For trifling offenses which in our day would be punished by a small fine or a few days' confinement, men, women, and boys were sent to this other end of the earth to serve terms of seven and fourteen years; and for serious crimes they were transported for life. Children were sent to the penal colonies for seven years for stealing a rabbit!
When I was in London twenty-three years ago there was a new penalty in force for diminishing garroting and wife-beating--twenty-five lashes on the bare back with the cat-o'-nine-tails. It was said that this terrible punishment was able to bring the____________________