misadventure due to the neglect of a definite duty, but careless about those due to the absence of common philanthropy. Its callousness in this respect is painfully shown in the following quotations (Kenny, Outlines of Criminal Law, 1902, p. 121, per Hawkins in Reg. v. Paine, Times, February 25, 188o)
If I saw a man who was not under my charge, taking up a tumbler of poison, I should not be guilty of any crime by not stopping him. I am under no legal obligation to protect a stranger.
That is probably what the priest and the Levite of the parable said to themselves.
A still more emphatic example is in the Digest of Criminal Law, by Justice Sir James Stephen, 1887, p. 154. Reg. v. Smith, 2 C and P., 449
A sees B drowning and is able to help him by holding out his hand. A abstains from doing so in order that B may be drowned, and B is drowned. A has committed no offence.
It appears, from a footnote, that this case has been discussed in a striking manner by Lord Macaulay in his notes on the Indian Penal Code, which I have not yet been able to consult.
Enough has been written elsewhere by myself and others to show that whenever public opinion is strongly roused it will lead to action, however contradictory it may be to previous custom and sentiment. Considering that public opinion is guided by the sense of what best serves the interests of society as a