Page:Democracy in America (Reeve, v. 1).djvu/318

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shall omit to worship God in public during three months, shall be condemned to a fine of ten shillings.

“Any person guilty of misbehaviour in a place of public worship shall be fined from five to forty shillings.

“These laws are to be enforced by the tything-men of each township, who have authority to visit public-houses on the Sunday. The innkeeper who shall refuse them admittance shall be fined forty shillings for such offence.

“The tything-men are to stop travellers, and require of them their reason for being on the road on Sunday: any one refusing to answer shall be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding five pounds sterling. If the reason given by the traveller be not deemed by the tything-man sufficient, he may bring the traveller before the justice of the peace of the district. (Law of the 8th March, 1792: General Laws of Massachusetts, vol. i. p. 410.)

On the 11th March, 1797, a new law increased the amount of fines, half of which was to be given to the informer. (Same collection, vol. ii. p. 525.)

On the 16th February, 1816, a new law confirmed these same measures. (Same collection, vol. ii, p. 405.)

Similar enactments exist in the laws of the State of New York, revised in 1827 and 1828. (See Revised Statutes, Part I. chapter 20, p. 675.) In these it is declared that no one is allowed on the Sabbath to sport, to fish, to play at games, or to frequent houses where liquor is sold. No one can travel, except in case of necessity.

And this is not the only trace which the religious strictness and austere manners of the first emigrants have left behind them in the American laws.

In the revised statutes of the State of New York, vol. i. p. 662, is the following clause:

“Whoever shall win or lose in the space of twenty-four hours, by gaming or betting, the sum of twenty-five dol-