Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/206

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190
Books Condemned to be Burnt.

jured community, insulted by the unscrupulous advantage that has been taken of its trustfulness and of its inability to judge soundly where all the data for a sound judgment are studiously withheld. Such an action is as much and as flagrant a crime or offence against the community as an act of robbery or murder, which, though primarily an injury to the individual, is primarily avenged as an injury to the State. As such it calls for punishment, nor could any punishment be more appropriate than one which caused the offending newspaper to atone by dishonour for the dishonour it sought to inflict. Condemnation by Parliament to the flames would exactly meet the exigencies of a case so rare and exceptional, and would succeed in inflicting that disgrace of which such a punishment often formerly failed by very reason of its too frequent application.