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Flotices of Meetings, etc.

ELDER WALK, ISLINGTON. The Committee and Subscribers held their Annual Meeting in the School-rooms on February 10th. The Ladies' Committee had rovided tea, and at six o'clock a small but very earnest party sat down. After singing a verse, Mr. Bruce, the Treasurer, was called to preside. The Secretary then read the Report, which detailed a state of things highly satisfactory to the friends present. The debt of last year, as well as the current expenditure, has been all but defrayed, and the school was spoken of as being in a more efficient condition than in any former period. The receipts for the year were £76; the expenditure £78.

It was stated that about 110 children was now the average attendance. 274 articles of clothing, 51 pairs of shoes, 12 bonnets, and 10 hats had been made or purchased, and distributed at a reduced price to the poor children connected with the school.

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HULL RAGGED SCHOOL. The Fourth Annual Meeting of this School was held January 17th. The chair was taken by the Rt. Hon. the Earl of Yarborough, who said :

I ought perhaps to explain how it is that I have come here to advocate the necessity of supporting the existence of so excellent a school in this town of Hull, when I have no claim to do so upon local grounds; for I do not reside in this county, nor have

any property that would justify my taking a particular interest in what is done here. But when I was invited to this chair, I felt it might be thought that I do not subscribe to a doctrine which, however, I most cordially maintain, namely, that it is of national importance that these schools should exist, should be maintained in efficiency, and extended. For it is not for the benefit of this town, it is not for the benefit of this individual neighbourhood alone, that such an institution exists, but it is the duty of all—it is for the interest of all—that we should carry out that old proverb, “Prevention is better than cure.” From the statistical returns, with which we are now furnished, upon authority, it would appear that there is a gradual increase of crime in this country. I am doubtful whether that apparent increase is not to be attributed to the better means which now exist of ascertaining the extent of crime. But of this I am sure, that, as our population increases, and as our wealth increases, so much the more is it our duty to see that those who cannot be educated, and cannot be cared for as they should be, in their own homes,-or for want of a home, should not be left uncared for and upprovided for by those whose duty it is to see that such persons are duly nurtured and trained for citizens of this land. And my advice is, that you regard it as your duty to give education to all that it is our duty to educate the children of those who are in too low a grade of society to educate them themselves; and that, maintaining our own religious opinions with that sincerity of faith which we feel we are right in doing, and granting to others that difference-of system, perbaps-which we claim the liberty of choosing forourselves, we ought not to quarrel about minor differences, but to remember that, to do the greatest amount of good we must bring the children within these schools, and there give them a good, sound, industrial, and

religious education, whether it be of the Church of England, or whether it be of those who differ from her communion ;-whether it be that of Wesleyans, Baptists, or of the Society of Friends, it matters not to me, so long it be a religious education.

The Secretary read the Report, and the interest of the meeting was well sustained to a late hour, the particulars of which occupy four columns of the local paper, beside a leader of two columns. The want of additional unpaid teachers, the evil of indiscriminate alms-giving, the need which exists for new schools, and the duty of providing a cheap and sound popular literature, appear to be among the more important of the practical suggestions thrown out at that meeting.

NORWICH RAGGED SCHOOL. The Annual Meeting of the friends of this insti. tution was held in the old Council Chamber, Guildhall, on February 1st.

The Sheriff (George Womack, Esq.) took the chair. He said

Christian friends, it is very gratifying and pleasurable to my feelings, to meet you at this time, especially to promote and extend an insti. tution so worthy of our Christian sympathy and hearty support, seeing that it is based upon pure Scriptural principles,

and seeks the interest and welfare of our fellow-creatures. There can be no doubt that the Ragged School has effected great good, and this is a high recommendation. Where Providence has blessed us with the means to do good, it is our bounden duty to use them, and it is one of those pleasures which never wear out. We are all aware that education is no longer one of the luxuries of life, but one of its greatest necessities; and applying to all classes of society. Education is the daily bread of us all, and when we look at the application of art to the manufactures of this country, and the general improvement and advancement of society, we must be convinced that it is no longer a matter of simple preference, but of vital necessity. We must at all times seek to answer the end for which God has bestowed life upon us—not merely to seek our own happiness, but the well-being of those around us.

The Secretary then read the Report, which referred to the condition of the poor generally, and distinctly condemned the system of indiscriminate almsgiving. It pronounced an opinion that the causes of destitution lay principally if not wholly beyond the pale of the Legislature, and recommended capitalists to provide better cottages, properly drained and ventilated for the working classes, and employers to devise means for promoting frugality and industry among the employed, and preventing early and improvident marriages. Christian education was asserted to be the great means of improving the lower classes, and Ragged Schools claim support as conducing to this end.

The average attendance of scholars is from 70 to 80 during the winter. The Committee rigidly refuse to receive those who either go to or are able to attend other schools. They might soon have 500 scholars were they not to keep this rule, as they find that a Sunday evening service for children is a great want of the present day.

Other notices deferred for want of space.

Papers, Original and Selected.

AN IMPORTANT INQUIRY;

OR, OUR PROSPECTS BRIGHTENING. The question of the abolition of the punishment of transportation has lately received much attention. This has largely arisen from the reclamations of the Cape colonists, as well as of the inhabitants of Van Diemen's Land, who have long bitterly complained of the introduction of convicts among them, and who, by the last accounts, have threatened " to stop the supplies” should the Government not give way. The demoralizing and dangerous results are increasingly apparent since the discovery of gold in South Australia, as to that region, besides the refuse of English society, convicts of the most atrocious character have repaired, either escaping from their assigned limits, or else their term of transportation having expired. The Government authorities have at length been obliged to yield to the threats and remonstrances of the colonists, and seeing that to those felons already under sentence " another and another yet succeeds,” it has been gravely asked, " Whether it would not be expedient to abolish transportation altogether, and substitute for it a lengthened term of imprisonment and hard labour at home?” It is argued in favour of an affirmative answer to this inquiry, that in these days “transportation beyond the seas,” even for the term of a man’s “natural life,” has lost most of its terrors, inasmuch as the “ ticket of leave system” is in the main largely consistent with personal liberty, and that even good conduct persevered in for a time may lead to complete liberation from bondage, and a settlement with golden prospects in one of the richest domains and finest climates in the world. But, putting aside the plausibility of such a mode of argument, and setting off against it the dark reality as recorded by condemned and transported convicts themselves, we believe that the secondary punishments proposed would be altogether inefficient in their results. Most heartily, therefore, do we assent to the opinions expressed on this vexed question by Mr. Serjeant Adams, Assistant Judge, at the March General Sessions for Middlesex. After referring to the Lord Chief Justice Campbell, as being also opposed to the abolition of transportation, he declared that "he did not think that those who supported such abolition were aware of the practical evils which would result from its being done away with. Four or five years ago a Committee of the House of Lords was appointed to examine certain subjects connected with criminal law, embracing an investigation into the condition of juvenile offenders, and extending also to the subject of transportation. Every class of men was examined before that Committee-judges of the supreme courts, and of criminal courts, magistrates, practical men, who were in the habit of visiting prisons, chaplains of jails, philanthropists, enthusiasts, convicts, and jailers; and their opinion was unani

NO. LII. —VOL. V.

H

Zlatices of Meetings, etc.

ELDER WALK, ISLINGTON. The Committee and Subscribers held their An. nual Meeting in the School-rooms on February 10th. The Ladies' Committee had provided tea, and at six o'clock a small but very earnest party sat down. After singing a verse, Mr. Bruce, the Treasurer, was called to preside. The Secretary then read the Report, which detailed a state of things bighly satisfactory to the friends present. The debt of last year, as well as the current expenditure, has been all but defrayed, and the school was spoken of as being in a more efficient condition than in any former period. The receipts for the year were £76; the expenditure £78.

It was stated that about 110 children was now the average attendance. 274 articles of clothing, 51 pairs of shoes, 12 bonnets, and 10 hats had been made or purchased, and distributed at a reduced price to the poor children connected with the school.

HULL RAGGED SCHOOL. The Fourth Annual Meeting of this School was held January 17th. The chair was taken by the Rt. Hon. the Earl of Yarborough, who said :

I ought perhaps to explain how it is that I have come here to advocate the necessity of supporting the existence of so excellent a school in this town of Hull, when I have no claim to do 80 upon local grounds; for I do not reside in this county, nor have I any property that would justify my taking a particular interest in what is done here. But when I was invited to this chair, I felt it might be thought that I do not subscribe to a doctrine which, however, I most cordially maintain, namely, that it is of national importance that these schools should exist, should be maintained in efficiency, and extended. For it is not for the benefit of this town, it is not for the benefit of this individual neighbourhood alone, that such an institution exists, but it is the duty of all—it is for the interest of all—that we should carry out that old proverb, “Prevention is better than cure.” From the statistical returns, with which we are now furnished, upon authority, it would appear that there is a gradual increase of crime in this country. I am doubtful whether that apparent increase is not to be attri. buted to the better means which now exist of ascertaining the extent of crime. But of this I am sure, that, as our population increases, and as our wealth increases, so much the more is it our duty to see that those who cannot be educated, and cannot be cared for as they should be, in their own homes,-or for want of a home, should not be left uncared for and upprovided for by those whose duty it is to see that such persons are duly nurtured and trained for citizens of this land. And my advice is, that you regard it as your duty to give education to all-that it is our duty to educate the children of those who are in too low a grade of society to educate them themselves; and that, maintaining our own religious opinions with that sincerity of faith which we feel we are right in doing, and granting to others that difference-of system, perhaps--which we claim the liberty of choosing forourselves, we ought not to quarrel about minor differences, but to remember that, to do the greatest amount of good we must bring the children within these schools, and there give them a good, sound, industrial, and

religious education, whether it be of the Church of England, or whether it be of those who differ from her communion ;-whether it be that of Wesleyans, Baptists, or of the Society of Friends, it matters not to me, so long as it be religious education.

The Secretary read the Report, and the interest of the meeting was well sustained to a late hour, the particulars of which occupy four columns of the local paper, beside a leader of two columns. The want of additional unpaid teachers, the evil of indiscriminate alms-giving, the need which exists for new schools, and the duty of providing a cheap and sound popular literature, appear to be among the more important of the practical suggestions thrown out at that meeting.

NORWICH RAGGED SCHOOL.

THE Annual Meeting of the friends of this insti. tution was held in the old Council Chamber, Guildhall, on February 1st.

The Sheriff (George Womack, Esq.) took the chair. He said :

Christian friends, it is very gratifying and pleasurable to my feelings, to meet you at this time, especially to promote and extend an insti, tution so worthy of our Christian sympathy and hearty support, seeing that it is based upon pure Scriptural principles,

and seeks the interest and welfare of our fellow-creatures. There can be no doubt that the Ragged School has effected great good, and this is a high recommendation. Where Providence has blessed us with the means to do good, it is our bounden duty to use them, and it is one of those pleasures which never wear out. We are all aware that education is no longer one of the luxuries of life, but one of its greatest necessities; and applying to all classes of society. Education is the daily bread of us all, and when we look at the application of art to the manufactures of this country, and the general improvement and advancement of society, we must be convinced that it is no longer a matter of simple preference, but of vital necessity. We must at all times seek to answer the end for which God has bestowed life upon us-not merely, to seek our own happiness, but the well-being of those around us.

The Secretary then read the Report, which referred to the condition of the poor generally, and distinctly condemned the system of indiscriminate almsgiving:

It pronounced an opinion that the causes of destitution lay principally if not wholly beyond the pale of the Legislature, and recommended capitalists to provide better cottages, properly drained and ventilated for the working classes, and employers to devise means for promoting frugality and industry among the employed, and preventing early and improvident marriages. Christian education was asserted to be the great means of improving the lower classes, and Ragged Schools claim support as conducing to this end.

The average attendance of scholars is from 70 to 80 during the winter. The Committee rigidly refuse to receive those who either go to or are able to attend other schools. They might soon have 500 scholars were they not to keep this rule, as they find that a Sunday evening service for children is a great want of the present day.

Other notices deferred for want of space.

Papers, Original and Selected.

AN IMPORTANT INQUIRY;

OR, OUR PROSPECTS BRIGHTENING, The question of the abolition of the punishment of transportation has lately received much attention. This has largely arisen from the reclamations of the Cape colonists, as well as of the inhabitants of Van Diemen's Land, who have long bitterly complained of the introduction of convicts among them, and who, by the last accounts, have threatened

to stop the supplies” should the Government not give way. The demoralizing and dangerous results are increasingly apparent since the discovery of gold in South Australia, as to that region, besides the refuse of English society, convicts of the most atrocious character have repaired, either escaping from their assigned limits, or else their term of transportation having expired. The Government authorities have at length been obliged to yield to the threats and remonstrances of the colonists, and seeing that to those felons already under sentence "another and another yet succeeds," it has been gravely asked, “Whether it would not be expedient to abolish transportation altogether, and substitute for it a lengthened term of imprisonment and hard labour at home?” It is argued in favour of an affirmative answer to this inquiry, that in these days "transportation beyond the seas,

even for the term of a man's “natural life," has lost most of its terrors, inasmuch as the “ticket of leave system” is in the main largely consistent with personal liberty, and that even good conduct persevered in for a time" may lead to complete liberation from bondage, and a settlement with golden prospects in one of the richest domains and finest climates in the world. But, putting aside the plausibility of such a mode of argument, and setting off against it the dark reality as recorded by condemned and transported convicts themselves, we believe that the secondary punishments proposed would be altogether inefficient in their results. Most heartily, therefore, do we assent to the opinions expressed on this vexed question by Mr. Serjeant Adams, Assistant Judge, at the March General Sessions for Middlesex. After referring to the Lord Chief Justice Campbell, as being also opposed to the abolition of transportation, he declared that "he did not think that those who supported such abolition were aware of the practical evils which would result from its being done away with. Four or five years ago a Committee of the House of Lords was appointed to examine certain subjects connected with criminal law, embracing an investigation into the condition of juvenile offenders, and extending also to the subject of transportation. Every class of men was examined before that Committee-judges of the supreme courts, and of criminal courts, magistrates, practical men, who were in the habit of visiting prisons, chaplains of jails, philanthropists

, enthusiasts, convicts, and jailers; and their opinion was unani

NO. LII.–VOL. T.

H

that as

mous that it would not be safe for this country to abolish the punishment of transportation. He believed it would be impossible with the feelings of Englishmen to carry out a system of long imprisonments

. To speak from his own experience, he knew that in sentencing a man to transportation, he was giving him the chance of redeeming himself

, but after passing the longest sentence in his power (two years’ imprisonment) he never went home comfortable.” We cannot be surprised that the learned judge should have thus expressed himself, inasmuch as every day we see cases of burglary and robbery from the person, and being daily brought before our police magistrates, in which the chief actors have been the very men who have just completed a term of limited imprisonment. And, besides this, the loss inflicted on the public is enormous, by reason of a long-continued course of unpunished theft, and even if a fresh outrage be detected, it leads to the expense of a new prosecution. At the best, in ninety-nine cases out of one hundred, the end of the London thief's career is transportation, and not until he is deported from the country is society safe. Alas! that amid all these disputes our statesmen and political economists should forget the maxim with regard to those juvenile offenders, who so soon ripen into hardened criminals

, that "prevention is better than cure.” Sad it is truly to every patriotic and Christian heart, as Serjeant Adams declares, that “the thieves of London are as regularly an organized body as any other trade," and

“there are a Company of Merchant Tailors and a Company of Goldsmiths, so also is there a Company of thieves.” Yes! the training of children to acts of petty larceny is a regular trade in our midst. Many an“ Oliver Twist is being at this hour subjected to the discipline of another “Fagin," and this without a hand being put forth to rescue him from ruin. Thus it is that Serjeant Adams says,

66 Cases again and again came before him of those who had been traced from infancy, from their earliest crimes perhaps of stealing some small article and selling it to some men in the streets, in order to get a penny to go to the penny theatres, until they came before him and received sentence of transportation.” And as the learned judge ranks among those " philanthropists" or "enthusiasts,” who believe in the possibility of reclaiming the vicious and lifting up the children of poverty from degradation and misery, well might he with honest emphasis and earnestness give utterance to the memorable words which all the friends of Ragged Schools will heartily endorse, namely, that “this was from the want of a better system for juvenile offenders ; they ought to take care of them before they got into prison, instead of wasting all their energies after they got there."

our readers will therefore perceive that the great practical question is not so much whether transportation shall be abolished, so as to bring London to something like the condition of Paris, where, we are told

, "100,000 convicts, convicts in the proper sense of the word, who had undergone their horrid punishment, reside”—but rather what is to be done with and for those children who, if left to organized training in crime, must become convicts in a short time; what is to be done with them and for them, so as to keep them out of prison altogether, and thus arrive at the best of all solutions of a disputed point by extirpating from our social soil that “root of bitterness" from which such fatal fruits have sprung.

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