Sir PETER proceeds to discourse of the mysteries of life and death in a manner that shows that the executions of his shrievalty were not lost upon his comprehensive spirit. Suicides, however, have engaged his special consideration; for he says—
“Suicides and attempts, or apparent attempts, to commit suicide, very much increase, I regret to say. I know that a morbid humanity exists, and does much mischief as regards the practice. I shall not encourage attempts of the kind, but shall punish them; and I sentence you to the treadmill for a month, as a rogue and vagabond. I shall look very narrowly at the cases of persons brought before me on such charges.”
Sir PETER has, very justly, no compassion for the famishing wretch stung and goaded “to jump the life to come.” Why should he? Sir PETER is of that happy class of men who have found this life too good a thing to leave. “They call this world a bad world,” says ROTHSCHILD on a certain occasion; “for my part, I do not know of a better.” And ROTHSCHILD was even a greater authority than Sir PETER LAURIE on the paradise of L s. d.
The vice of the day—“a morbid humanity” towards the would-be suicide—is, happily, doomed. Sir PETER LAURIE refuses to patronise any effort at self-slaughter; and, moreover, threatens to “look very narrowly at the cases” of those despairing fools who may be caught in the attempt. It would here be well for Sir PETER to inform the suicidal part of the public what amount of desperation is likely to satisfy him as to the genuineness of the misery suffered. William Simmons cuts a gash in his throat; the Alderman is not satisfied with this, but having looked very narrowly into the wound, declares it to be a proper case for the treadmill. We can well believe that an impostor trading on the morbid humanity of the times—and there is a greater stroke of business done in the article than even the sagacity of a LAURIE can imagine—may, in this cold weather, venture an immersion in the Thames or Serpentine, making the plunge with a declaratory