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Pat passed his light guinea between two penny pieces. And so, ranged man and boy, man and boy, they work and talk from morning to night. How far the arrangement tends to check the criminal conversation of the adults—how far it operates to purify and restore the healthy tone of mind to the children, we should not like to assert. A man must have great faith before he can believe it does either,
Other sorts of labour besides that of the wheel may be found in the New Bailey ; but nothing that is useful is taught. The staple work of the establishment is the wheel, and the amusement wool-picking : in the rooms in which the latter is indulged silence is maintained, except amongst the untried. These are suffered to converse in a low tone; that is, a riot is not tolerated ; but so far as moral contamination goes, why, that is not prevented. No one has charge of public morals. Several of these persons, young and old, are not yet proved to be guilty, for they have not been tried. Some few of them are perhaps innocent of the crimes with which they are charged, and the law presumes all of them to be so : they are therefore not to be punished with deprivation of speech. They are to be very tenderly used, of course : mercy, nay, justice demands that. Some of them, it is true, are well known to the gaoler; they have been in his keeping for years at intervals, and they are now accused of serious crimes. Others are now in custody for the first time :-so the rulers of the prison think they have done their duty when they have brought them all together, made them mutually acquainted, and told them not to converse in a loud voice, nor to get up a row. Umph! the wisdom and policy of this arrangement needs no alien trumpeting
A bare statement of the fact will be recommendation sufficient. Truly, an admirable gaol !
It has the great merit, too, of being consistent throughout. The school is equally well organized with the work, and is equally well adapted to produce the smallest results with the largest expenditure of means. As the chaplain in his last Report says, “No time is wasted upon the adults.” If a boy be guilty of being sixteen years of age, he is forthwith turned out of school. The day before he arrives at that age, he may be a great dunce, a perfect ignorant, a very proper subject for some moral and mental teaching : but come “sweet sixteen,” and there is no more instruction. He may be a perfect heathen, but then he is an adult : adults do not want to read ; or if they do entertain any such revolutionary desire, it is not to be gratified. Only boys have a right to be instructed. But even th are denied the dangerous art of writing. “A little learning,” &c. ; so, instead of writing and figures, the boys are taught geography,_"with most excellent effect,” says Mr. Bagshawe, who entirely approves of the system. * It is better to afford solid instruction to a few than dilute it over many,” or words to this effect, is his last observation on the subject. Geography can hardly be complained of; it can do no harm. Writing may lead to forgeries; arithmetic to peculation ; but no man can be worse for knowing the names of the five continents, and the difference between an isthmus and an island.
This is a logic which cannot be misinterpreted in Manchester. The school has another original feature, which deserves mention : vagrants, misdemeanants, felons, --- all are placed together on the same forms, to become acquainted with each other's names, histories, and connexions. A few weeks later they will be all in the streets together, no doubt bearing testimony to the useful and judicious discipline of the prison school.
The New Bailey is for the most part cellular. All that part of it which was built at the time of Howard, however defective otherwise, was provided with separate sleeping rooms.
But such cells! There are scarcely worse in England. They are small, unglazed, and intolerably cold. They are unprovided with any means of communicating with the warders in case of sickness; but, in accordance with the happy genius of the entire establishment, some compensation is made for this deprivation in the fact; that the cells are so formed as to afford the prisoners every facility for communicating with each other. Having no glass window in his cell, the prisoner of course closes his shutter as soon as he is locked up; he is then in perfect darkness. There is no gas in the cell. Even if able and willing to improve his mind by a little reading, the poor wretch is debarred the profit and enjoyment of so doing by the exclusion of light. There are 519 of these cells; but as the prison contains 700 prisoners, many have to sleep three in a cell ; two being prevented by law. Three in a cell will, of course, keep it warm,-rather too warm, even in winter; for these miserables are locked up in a cell, certainly not too large for one, for fourteen or sixteen hours out of the twenty-four ! This is horrible. Let any son or daughter of ermine and eider-down try for a moment to realize such a situation. Three strangers, men or women, in a dark room, only six or seven feet square, breathing the poisoned atmosphere, in compelled idleness, for sixteen hours together; the wants and offices of nature satisfied and performed in the same room. The bare idea fills the mind with disgust and indignation. What must the reality be to those who suffer it? The odour from the cell in the morning is sickening, for there are no water-closets here. Yet these are only the material results. What is the moral effect ? One may well tremble to think of it.
On the whole, the inspection of this great prison is most painful. Mr. Hill, the government inspector for the district, speaks of it terms of well-merited disapproval. So does Mr Adshead. It needs looking into. The visiting justices, however, in their annual Report to the Secretary of State, express themselves in general but approving terms of its condition. We feel assured that in this case the law is complied with in a merely formal manner, and that the assent signifies nothing. Their commendation is otherwise inexplicable.
KIRKDALE is the Newgate of South Lancashire. It is the great gaol of this division of the county, and is connected with the criminal courts in Liverpool, in the suburbs of which town it is located, on a high and healthy spot of ground, about two miles from the Exchange. Persons charged with the more serious crimes are sent hither. Here the capital offender suffers the last penalty of the law : here convicted felons, burglars, coiners, and other inve. terate criminals, sentenced to periods of transportation, are lodged preparatory to being sent off to Millbank, the Hulks, Bermuda, or Van Diemen's Land. It is, indeed, a provincial Newgate. Its walls usually environ the cream of the criminal population out of a million and a half of people four to five hundred of the élite of nearly ten thousand violators of the law. Such a congregation must present many points of interest to the ob
Kirkdale at present consists of two distinct portions or prisons--the old and the new—from which,