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idlest fellows in the farm or the smithy are precisely those who know most about the principles of the screw and the lever, the properties of oxygen and carbon.

Besides chemistry, the programme of Parkhurst includes music, geography, geology, and, generally speaking, all the elements of science. Though we were told that many of the boys who applauded the successful experiments with the “simple gases” could neither read nor write, yet it is to be confessed that out of a room of 150 or 200, answers were given to most of the questions asked in regard to mechanics. One or two could name the different kinds of attraction, such as gravity, capillary, cohesion ; and could adduce examples of each, as in a stone, a tree, a stick. Many of them knew the difference between a lever and a wedge, a plane and a screw. Curious if they did not ! On being asked to give an example of a lever, an ingenious youth, with a turn for sarcasm, at once instanced a crowbar; which, as may be supposed, caused a general titter of approbation. Some could tell pretty well how to calculate the power of a lever (crowbar), and how to give additional force to it when required. The singing class was equally proficient in music. These are the studies which eat up so much time.

We do not know that we should object to any one of these things being taught in a reasonable quantity ; but at present there is far too much v it. The most important thing which every boy in Parkhurst has to learn is, how to live honestly. Knowledge of hydrogen and ammonia, strata and fossils, will help him but little in this. When he has learned this great lesson, other things may be safely added ; but, until then, it is folly and madness to teach him how to wield a crowbar on scientific principles. He knows that well enough already.

The scheme of Parkhurst, in our opinion, requires to be remodelled from first to last. Instead of working four hours a-day, the lads ought to work ten hours- ten at least. This would still leave two for chapel and the care of their persons, two for school, two for meals, one for recreation, and seven for sleep. A proper regard for the youths themselves would dictate some such course as this. Idleness in the young is the parent of every vice. While the prisoners at Parkhurst are shut up in their cells eleven hours out of every twenty-four, the chaplain may expect to find that “their religious and moral condition is not satisfactory."

The Isle of Wight has great advantages as a place for a prison. It is very healthy. It is near to a great military station (the barracks of Parkhurst adjoin it).

It is within an hour's means of communication with Whitehall. And it is a small island, which renders escape impossible. There has been no instance of escape without almost instant recapture. No place could be more suitable for a trial of the plans of Captain Maconochie than the forest of Parkhurst. Will government never give this, the most philosophical of all prison systems, a fair and honest trial ?

CHAPTER VIII.

Pewgate.

NEWGATE! Whoever knows London knows New gate. Once seen, it is not a place very likely to be forgotten. Inside and outside it is equally striking. Massive, dark, and solemn, it arrests the eye, and holds it. A stranger in the capital would fix

upon it at a glance ; for it is one of the half-dozen buildings in this wilderness of bricks and mortar which have a character. Of all the London prisons, except the Tower, it alone has an imposing aspect. Coldbath-fields, Horsemonger-lane, Giltspur-street, look grim and loathsome ; Millbank, Tothill-fields, and Pentonville, are grim and grand; Newgate alone can boast an aspect full of the majesty of honour. Who can pass it by unmoved? Of all that busy, whirling, thoughtful throng of passengers, which daily roll beneath its massive battlements, is there one

who heedlessly goes by, without bestowing on it a · glance of curiosity, a shudder, or a sigh? It is doubt

ful. Some of this interest is very probably owing to the fearful memories which float about the spot; but not a little of it is owing to the very character of the building. The solid masses of its granite walls, strong enough to resist artillery, unbroken by door or casement-save those low and narrow slits in the centre, iron-bound and mounted as they are—frown down

upon the great arteries of London, as the Bastille formerly did upon the Rue St. Antoine. The situation and the surrounding objects also help to make it striking : standing in the very centre of the city, in the shadow of the national church, dividing the two great life-streams which run along towards Holborn and the Strand, and facing that sombre church, so well and yet so strangely christened, of the Holy Sepulchre !

In this open space, between the church and prison, executions have taken place ever since the time of Howard. Before then, the last sentence of the law was carried out at Tyburn, near the end of the Edgeware-road. The victim was carried in a cart, attended by a vast crowd of idle and dissolute persons, from the prison to the gallows, who saw the wretch expire, and then went off to their low haunts, to drink, and dissipate the remainder of the day. Every Monday morning the mob of London looked to have this brutal excitement provided for them ; and more than one minister of the crown has been known to express the opinion, that, as a matter of policy, it was better, if possible, not to disappoint the many-headed monster!

Are we much better now? The last execution at Tyburn took place on the 7th of November, 1783; and the first in front of Newgate in the following

month. The change was made at the suggestion of Howard. The riotous procession of disorderly persons—the unseemly cart, with its exposed victim (the rope already round his neck), and his coffinthese have been got rid of; but all the disorder, the corruption, the moral evil, of the public infliction of death still remain.

Reader, did you ever see an execution at Newgate ? The scene is full of morals ; fruitful of sad and humiliating thoughts. Hangings take place on Monday mornings. The gallows, the barriers, the platforms, these have to be fixed up on Sunday. Of course, the preparations attract all the idle people from distant parts of the metropolis ; the low taverns and beerhouses about Newgate-street, Smithfield, and the Fleet district, are gorged with company, who sally out at intervals to see how the workmen get on with the preparations for the morrow, and to have a brush with the police, who are on duty in great force. Knots of queer-looking fellows form here and there, and in their own slang phrases discuss their plans ; for an execution is as good as a lord-mayor's show to the race of pickpockets. Every now and then the police disperse these groups, who move off to form again elsewhere. And in this way the time wears on till morning

The hard-toned bell of St. Sepulchre's church tolls the service for the dead, but with a difference here which makes it a terror instead of a consolation. It tolls before the death ! In the condemned cell, its faintest notes are distinctly heard. As you hear the

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