Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/616

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
598
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ciety will in future study it, may be taken to be as follows: the comparison and identification of the survivals of archaic beliefs, customs, and traditions in modern ages." So far, so good.

But the truth is that the exact definition of the term "folk lore" is still a matter in dispute. The proper place of the "science of folk lore" remains to be settled. Thus there will be two folk-lore congresses at the World's Columbian Exposition: one congress to be held in the month of July, in connection with the Department of Literature; the other Folk-lore Congress to be held in August, with the Congress of Anthropology. There is no department of comparative folk-lore in any college or university.

Finally, we attribute the rapid progress and popularity of folklore study in America and in Europe to three reasons: (1) Folk lore is a study to which almost every one can contribute something; (3) folk lore is a study which throws a flood of light on man's past mental evolution and culture-history, as the Germans call the study; (3) folk lore is a study in which the student of religions, the student of morals, the ethnologist, the antiquarian, the psychologist, the historian, the poet, and the littérateur, each finds a different interest and a different value.

 

REFORMATORY PRISONS AND LOMBROSO'S THEORIES.
By Miss HELEN ZIMMERN.

IN no branch of social science has so much progress been made of recent years as in the treatment of the criminal. Mankind in general has at last come to recognize what Sir Thomas Moore knew long ago, that the end of punishment is "nothing else but the destruction of vices and the saving of men." The prison has become, and rightly, a moral hospital. Whether, however, we are not now inclining to err a little too much on the other side in our latter methods of prison treatment is a question that is exercising the general public as well as criminal anthropologists and professors of legal medicine. Are we not perhaps encouraging rather than deterring crime by our present tendency to prison philanthropy? Do we not tend to make prison too pleasant a place, so that those who have been there are apt to sing in an irreverent spirit the words of the hymn that telleth—

"I have been there, and fain would go;
It is a little heaven below"?

Is it no longer good, as the gospel teaches, that the transgressor's way be made hard lest a worse evil befall?

On all these points there is unquestionably no greater authority in the world to consult than Prof. Cesare Lombroso, Professor