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societies to aid the execution of the laws in those states in which the system is abolished. While it prevails in any state of the Union, there is ground for apprehension that the protective legislation of the others will claim respect only in proportion to that vigilance which shall assist in guarding it from infringement.
" In Philadelphia and other parts of the state, there is abundant reason to believe that ihe law, if not openly defied, is secretly violated. Nor is it matter of surprise that the lower classes of the people should feel a desire to indulge in the golden dreams inspired by the promises of the lottery, while such announcements as the following find their way into the newspapers of the day :—' A French paper, of February 7th, states that the coachman of Mr. Vandenaclen, of Brussels, has drawn a prize of five millions of florins, (about $2,000,000,) in a German lottery."
“The publication of such intelligence cannot but be injurious to the whole tribe of coachmen and servants, in this country, whose ambition, it is well known, is already sufficiently magnificent. If God,' says the Arabic proverb, ' purposes the destruction of an ant, he allows wings to grow upon her. According to Burckhardt, the traveller, the adage implies that the sudden elevation of a person beyond his natural condition usually causes his ruin. Adopting the announcement to be true, we cannot doubt that the glittering prize will prove fatal to the character and peace of its unfortunate holder."
By the efforts of the Pennsylvania society, several offenders against the law of March, 1833, have been brought to trial, conviction, and punishment; and probably, if the institution should continue her efforts with as much ardour as she commenced them, infractions of the law in this respect will not go unpunished, and the system be completely eradicated from the borders of Pennsylvania. This happy state of things might continue, unless the legislature were induced hereafter adopt a new line of policy, and again authorize the introduction of this enormous system of gambling. In order, if possible, to prevent this, it is proposed to introduce into the new constitution of Pennsylvania (now in process of formation) a clause similar to that in the charters of New York, Maryland, and Tennessee—abolishing altogether legislative discretion upon this head.
It is not our intention to go into either argument or proof upon the subject of the public evil of lotteries. This has been amply performed by others; and by no one better than the author of the little work before us. Public opinion we presume to be inade up upon the point, and public feeling requires but to be again aroused, in order to adopt efficacious measures to prevent lotteries taking root with us a second time. The effectual mode, undoubtedly, would be that suggested, of a constitutional prohibition—to be, in its turn, aided and encouraged by the active, zealous co-operation of philanthropic individuals anxious for the preservation of the public morals. Many, we might say most, of the leading measures of Pennsylvania policy have been fostered, if not finally successfully
prosecuted, by means of similar institutions. The great cause of penal reform and penitentiary discipline is under lasting obligations to such an association. Education, internal improvements, and other valuable objects of our regard as citizens, have owed much of their prosperity to the combined action of associated individuals. Equal success has so far attended the exertions of the Pennsylvania society for the suppression of lotteries; and it needs but a continuance of their discreet and unabated energies to secure a complete and effectual triumph.
Mr. Tyson's description of the origin of lotteries is well written and of much interest.
“Gambling, by means of the lottery, is not of very modern origin. Though it has been tolerated and even fostered by Christian communities, it dates its birth so far back as a remote period in the history of the Romans. The uses to which it was applied, are faithfully delineated by Menestrier, a Jesuit father, who published the result of his researches about the close of the seventeenth century:
“ The Christian world is indebted to the republic of Genoa for suggesting the idea of resorting to the lottery as a measure of finance. From Italy it migrated into France, about the year 1580, where its history presents one dark page of poverty, wretchedness, and crime. Its introduction into Great Britain was early, being nurtured and sustained by the friendly hand of government, as an expedient for raising money upon the principle of voluntary taxation. The first lottery mentioned in English history, was established in 1567; and Maitland of Stowe informs us, that, in 1569, there were but three lottery offices in the kingdom.' A few years brought an immense accession to the number, and various statutes were made, to diminish, by restrictions and penalties, the malignity of their influence. But no emollient was equal to the emergency of its purpose. A new genius awoke into being, competent to evade, by dexterity and stratagem, the provisions of each new law. At length its enormity became too obvious and crying for popular favour. An enquiry was made in the house of commons, and, on the recommendation of a committee, new guards were applied. Still checks were found to be but a temporary alleviation. Like most mitigating remedies, they produced the effect of giving false security to the patient; rather than efficacy in counteracting the disease. Nothing less ihan a kind of legislative amputation could expel a poison so deeply seated and pervading.
“It may well be supposed, that if it prevailed in England when this country was colonized, the policy would be observable in acts relating to its early settlement. Accordingly, the second lottery granted by parliament was authorized in the reign of the first James, for carrying on the colonization of Virginia. The eastern colonies experienced the unhappy results of the same spirit of legislation. So early as 1699, the 'ministers met at Boston' denounced the lottery as a cheat, and its agents as pillagers of the people. But, notwithstanding this early denunciation of the system, and its recent extinction in England, the lottery has taken deep root and shot its noxious branches into many portions of the American Union. Legislative sanction is here given to this vice under the various pretences of excavating canals, building bridges, erecting school-houses, and endowing colleges, as well as for the construction of
The first lottery in England was drawn at the west door of St. Paul's Cathedral !
edifices devoted to worshipping the Deity! Unhappy indeed, that the lover of freedom should consent to aim a deliberate blow at his proud institutions; and that the Christian votary should inflict a deep wound upon religion and morality, with the ostensible view of aiding in their promotion !
“But whatever may have been the origin of lottery grants in the United States, the objects to which thcy have been applied are not more multifarious than the number and amount of schemes have been overwhelming. In the different states, there are no less than twelve or fourteen lotteries which claim the sanction of a legal existence. What sum may be hazarded in a single day, it is difficuli to calculate with any thing like precision. That it is alarming in magnitude, may be presumed from the fact that, in the single state of New York, schemes have been issued, since the adoption of her new constitution, to the enormous sum of thirty-seren millions of dollars! In Pennsylvania, schemes issued under the authority of seven other states, were, for a long time, vended to an incredible amount, in direct violation of law. It could not have been anticipated by the provincial assembly of 1702, when it prohibited lotteries with a striking preamble and a high penalty, that a few years would witness their multiplication to such an extent.
“ This colonial legislation, whilst it displays the domestic feelings of the colonists, at an early period, likewise discovers the exotic source of the lottery system. But this more distinctly appears from the proviso of the act, which sures from the general prohibition, “all state lotteries enacted and licensed by act of parliament in Great Britain. There is no doubt the parent country taught her imitative offspring to domesticate the lottery, by pointing out its manifold uses. The lottery, then, is a weed which is not indigenous to this soil. It did not spring up in this country, the result of necessity or the dictate of pecuniary expediency. In the enactment referred to, our ancestors pronounced it to be a mischievous and unlawful game-detrimental to youth, and ruinous to the poor—the source of fraud and dishonesty-alike hurtful to industry, commerce, and trade-and baneful to the interests of good citizenship, morality, and virtue."
After detailing some interesting facts which were clicited by the labours of a committee of the British house of commons in the year 1808, the author proceeds to sketch the progress of public opinion in Great Britain, which finally resulted in the overthrow of the system. Ile says:
“Other testimony shows what it is here unnecessary to quote-the ingenious and multiplicd expedients of the lottery brokers for evading the laws, as well as the persidy of the government officers in winking at transgressions, and partaking of the fruits of illicit adventures. The whole report discloses a scene of iniquiiy so multiform, and of misery so hopeless, as to sicken and appal the mind. The restrictions intended by new statutes soon ceased to exhibit any mitigation in their effects, till at last the whole system was abscinded as the most noxious and venomous excrescence that could deforın the legislation or poison the moral atmosphere of England. This temporary suspension of the system was preceded by events, which, perhaps, will ever be remembered in the annals of self-destruction. A scheme was formed in London, displaying several magnificent prizes of £50,000 and £100,000, which tempted to ventures of very large amount, and the night of the drawing was signalized by filty cases of suicide! With these tragedies terminated, for a brief period, the career of the lottery in the English isle !
“From such facts, what opinion are we authorized to form of the magnitude of this evil? An evil which paralyses industry, destroys domestic concord, saps the foundation of correct principles, and leads to the commission of the darkest crimes in the criminal calendar ? What ought we to think of those laws which give it protection ? As well might a legislature cherish, by the public bounty, a monster whose pestilential and baneful breath scattered deformity, disease, and death, widely over the country.
“But the immense revenue of a million pounds sterling, which the treasury annually derived from the lottery, was too great a temptation to be long resisted. It was soon again introduced into the budget, as an item, which, notwithstanding its plain consequences in the extinction of revenue, the state of the finances' could not forego. Large sums were year after year levied upon the people, by this detestable expedient to fill the coffers of the treasury. It is related upon good authority, that the annual subsidy has seldom been less than a million, since the period of the revolution. If it required the issuing of schemes in the Union Canal to the amount of thirty-three millions for the purpose of collecting $340,000, we may presume that the annual sales in England must be startling.
“The evils of the system again invoked the attention of the British public in 1819, and gave rise to an interesting debate in parliament. The propriety of its continuance was discussed by such_men as Lyttleton, Buxton, Wilberforce, Canning, and Castlereagh. The whole subject was passed in review—its erroneous policy-its irremediable mischiefsits sure tendencies and ascertained results—but all gave way to its invincible necessity as a means of revenue. The committee of 1808 had disclosed one pregnant and overwhelming fact, which furnished to various arguments a convincing and unanswerable reply. It was ascertained that, if the lottery were abolished, the increased consumption of exciseable articles would more than supply its loss to the treasury. vindication of the system, the chancellor, it is alleged, assumed a position which is irreconcilable with all correct principles of government, and every sound notion of ethics. He is said to have asserted that there was always floating in society a given quantity of vicious inclinations, which he had a right to turn to the best account—that, as the spirit of gambling was rife, it was justifiable, in finance, to make it ancillary to the public burthens. It is not easy to decide whether such a sentiment is more incompatible with policy, considered merely as a matter of profit, or at variance with the plain principles of morality. Shall we pamper vices because they exist ! Is it ened prudence or true virtue to hold out lures to the simple, the ignorant, and the credulous, which, if successful, must debase their characters, and render them dishonest citizens or dependent paupers ? But without formally controverting a dogma which teaches such erroneous doctrines, we may leave it to the silent reflection of the philanthropist, satisfied that he will discard it as unsound, false, and illiberal. In 1823 the lottery was again sought to be propagated, but the tide of popular favour had so violently set against it as to require the salvo that it was proposed for the last time. Whether it has not again been recently revived is not certainly known, but surely the British nation has been abundantly admonished of its intrinsic banefulness to induce its entire relínquishment.' Upon, the invention of
A recent English newspaper informs us that the last state lottery, was drawn in England in October, 1826, and that France has also an. nounced her intention to abandon the lottery system.
savings banks for the benefit of the poor, it was found to present the greatest impediment to their success. But, during the period of its temporary discontinuance, these institutions recovered from their languishing condition, and gradually advanced in their deposits and usefulness.
“If the spirit of liberty be indeed rising in Great Britain, let the political sentinel rear aloft and higher the banner of private virtue and enlightened sentiment. If the people are to express their power, may it not be a brute, animal force, but may it be tempered by moral restraints and virtuous impulses. Let the lottery at least be weeded out as fatal to the true spirit and best interests of freedoin.
Mr. Tyson draws the following comparison between gambling by lotteries and the other ordinary modes of dissipating fortune and character in games of hazard :
“Would licensed gambling tables be introductive of so much distress, such variety and blackness of crime? In the first place, the lottery scatters mischief with a more prodigal hand than other kinds of gambling. It holds out enticements which reach every class in the community. It has attractions for the poor as well as the rich, for the concealed speculator no less than the avowed libertine. The subdivision of chances is so minute as to include among the adventurers, the apprentice to a trade, the indented girl, and the chimney sweep. But it does not stop here. With its own undistinguishing spirit, it sacrifices older victims, and ascends into higher walks. It penetrates into situations which would prove impervious to the contaminating influences of ordinary gambling. While in common games the personal agency which is necessary must expose the infamy of participation, the odium of holding tickets may be prevented by committing to another the charge of the purchase. It is Thus that persons pretending to respectability have been known to speculate in lotteries, without incurring the disgrace which, in most communities, is incident to the practice of gambling:
“ The risks are greater in the lottery than in other gaming. The chance of the latter may be as one to one, or greater, at the discretion of the player. The hazards of the former are frequently in the proportion of one to thousands. In the one, loss of fortune may ensue in a single night; but, in the other, the excitements of hope and the agony of disappointment alternate in such quick succession, that the unhappy adventurer has a protiacted struggle with the fickleness of chance, before he can know the result of the contest. In the mean time he is rendered a useless, not to say a pernicious, member of society. His principles are contaminated by familiar association with infamy and guilt, and his habits debauched by indulging in the excesses to which he has been driven.
“The life of a regular gamester may admit of useful employment in the intervals of play. But the adventurer in the lottery broods by day and night over his tickets—his imagination is filled with the grand idea of possessing the capital prize—and his mind is held in that state of intensity and excitement which admits of nothing to divert it from the one great and absorbing object of its contemplation. Ordinary gambling may ruin the victim of its infatuation at once, and drive him to suicide; or he may borrow from his successful companion, beyond the possibility of repayment, in the hope of retrieving his broken fortunes. The speculator in the lottery, on the other hand, is not vanquished at a blow, but, in the caprices or accidents of the wheel, though often the loser, he is sometimes the gainer; new stimulus is thus imparted to his cupidityhe is urged on to new ventures-continued ill luck nourishes the hope of