Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/970

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.
REciD1visM ReciFE

down as a condition of the alliance that the duchies should only be separated from Denmark by common consent of the two German powers. Bismarck, however, insisted that the question of the ultimate destination of the duchies should be left open; and, when he backed his argument with the threat that unless Austria accepted his proposal Prussia would act alone, Rechberg gave way. His action was made the object of violent attacks in the Austrian Lower House (28-30 January 1864), and when the war was victoriously concluded and Prussia's designs on the duchies had become evident, public opinion turned more and more against him, demanding that Austria should support the duke of Augustenburg even at the risk of war. Rechberg yielded so far as to assure the duke's representative at Vienna that Austria was determined to place him in possession of the duchies, but only on condition that he did not sign away any of his sovereign rights to Prussia. The outcome of this was that the duke refused the terms offered by King William and Bismarck.

On the 22nd of August there was a meeting of the emperor Francis Joseph and King William at Schonbrunn, both Rechberg and Bismarck being present. Rechberg himself was in favour of allowing Prussia to annex the duchies, on condition that Prussia should guarantee Austria's possession of Venice and the Adriatic coast. On the first point no agreement was reached; but the principles of an Austro-Prussian alliance in the event of a French invasion of Italy were agreed upon. This latter proposal was, however, received with violent opposition in the ministry, where Rechberg's influence had long been overshadowed by that of Schmerling; public opinion, utterly distrustful of Prussian promises, was also greatly excited; and on the 27th of October Rechberg handed in his resignation, receiving at the same time the order of the Golden Fleece from the emperor as a sign of special favour. He had been made an hereditary member of the Upper House of the Reichsrat in 1861, and as late as 1879 continued occasionally to take part in debates. He died at his chateau of Kettenhof near Vienna on the 26th of February 1899. He had married, in 1834, Barbara ]ones, eldest daughter of the 6th Viscount Ranelagh, by whom he had one son, Count Louis (b. 1835).

See the biography by Franz Ilwof in'Allgeme1Ine Deutsche Biographie, B. 53. Nachtrdge (Leipzig, 1907).

RECIDIVISM (from Fr. récidiver, to relapse and fall again into the same fault, or repeat the same offence as one committed before), a modern expression for “ habitual crime.” The recidivist is now universally known to exist in all civilized countries as one who has adopted wrong-doing and law-breaking as a profession. His persist ency is ceaseless and inextinguishable by the ordinary methods 'of combating crime. Penal justice as generally exercised is unavailing, and is little better than an automatic machine which draws in a vast number within its wheels and casts them out again practically unchanged in character to qualify again for the ineffective treatment. This dangerous contingent is for ever on the move, into prison and out of it and in again; a large proportion of it, the criminal residuum, the very essence of the criminality of a country, resists all processes devised for its regeneration and cure. Nothing will mend it; neither severity nor kindness, neither the most irksome restraints nor the philanthropic methods of moral and educational persuasion. This failure has encouraged some ardent reformers to recommend the system of indefinite imprisonment or the indeterminate sentence, by which the enemy once caught is kept perpetually or for a lengthy period, and thus rendered innocuous. Habitual offenders, it is argued, should be detained as hostages until they are willing to lay down their arms and consent to make no further attempt to attack or injure society. The theory is sound and has been adopted in part in several countries, especially in the United States.

It was not until 1909 that the system of preventive detention was put into operation in the United Kingdom, when, by the Prevention of Crime Act 1908, power was given to the courts to pass on habitual criminals a. sentence of preventive detention in addition to one of penal servitude. This further period may range within limits of from five to ten years, according to the discretion of the court. The English system is hardly more than tentative at present; the machinery is admittedly capable of improvement. The charge of being an habitual criminal has to be inserted in the indictment on which the offender is to be tried, and this cannot be done without the consent of the director of public prosecutions and after certain notice has been given to the officer of the court trying the prisoner and to the offender himself. The decision to charge a prisoner with being an habitual criminal has hitherto rested on the local police authorities, and it has been felt that a more even and a more general application of such a drastic method of treatment would result if the decision were transferred to one authority, and some such reform was foreshadowed by the Home Secretary in a speech in the House of Commons on prison reform on the 20th of July 1910.

RECIFE, or PERNAMBUCO, a city and seaport of Brazil, capital of the state of Pernambuco, in 8° 3' S. and 34° 5 5' W., near the extreme eastern point of South America. Pop. (1904 estimate) 186,000. Recife is frequently called the “Venice of America ”; it is at the mouths of the rivers Beberibe and Capibaribe which unite to form a small lagoon or bay inside the sea beach. In the angle between the two rivers is the delta island of Antonio Vaz. The city is built on the southern extremity of the sandy sea beach, on the island of Antonio Vaz, and on the mainland to the westward, the river channels being crossed by numerous bridges. With the exception of the hills on which Olinda is built about 5 m. northward, the surrounding country is low and flat, the general elevation averaging IO ft. As the tide rises about 6 ft., the general level of the city and neighbouring coast, which is wet and swampy to the southward, is too low to be generally healthy, and Pernambuco has a high death-rate (52% per 1000 in 1904), with malaria as one of the principal causes of death. The climate is hot, although agreeably tempered by the S.E. trade winds; the temperature ranges from an absolute minimum of 61° to an absolute maximum of 99° (1904). The rainfall (1904) is 75-3 in. 'The three principal parishes of the city are known as Sao Iosé do Recife, occupying the sandy peninsula or beach north of the outlet of the united rivers; Santo Antonio, on the island of Antonio Vaz, which was called Mauritia or Mauritzstad during the Dutch occupation; and Boa Vista, on the mainland to the westward, which is the most modern and the most rapidly growing part. The first is the oldest and most crowded section, and is now devoted chiefly to the commercial and financial interests of the port; here are the custom house, merchants' exchange (Praca do Commercio), shipping offices, banks and wholesale houses. Santo Antonio dates from the Dutch occupation. Prince Maurice of Nassau, when governor-general, built here his private residence (Fribourg House) and made it his capital. Its business edifices and residences are largely of Dutch architecture, with many storeys and steep roofs. The older part of Boa Vista dates from the 17th century. Recife has few public gardens, and its streets are not usually well cared older buildings are of the Portuguese type, usually squares or

for. The

plain, low and heavy, constructed of broken stone and mortar, and plastered and coloured on the outside. The city has gas and electric illumination, street and suburban railways, drainage and a public water supply drawn from a small tributary of the Beberibe about 7 m. to the N.W., in the direction of Caxanga. Among its notable public buildings and institutions are the old government palace in Santo Antonio built upon the foundations of the official residence of Prince Maurice of Nassau, with a pretty garden attached; a theatre facing upon the Praga da Republica, dating from the second empire; the palace of the Provincial Assembly in Boa Vista, built in 1860-66, surmounted by a high dome; the municipal palace, or prefecture, on Rua do Imperador, with the public library (Biblioteca Publica) occupying its third floor and containing about 30,000 volumes; the Gymnasium, a large plain building of two floors standing near the legislative palace; the Pedro II. hospital