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rior malversations-and the invaluable means | False accusation; and to condemn him who of denunciation and authoritative and irresis- is only suspected, is to commence his punishtible investigation which we possess in our ment while his crime is uncertain. Nay, it is representative legislature, puts it in the power not only uncertain, as to all who are untried, of any man of prudence, patience, and re- but it is the fixed presumption of the law that spectability in that House, to bring to light the the suspicion is unfounded, and that a trial most secret, and to shame the most arrogant will establish his innocence. We suppose delinquent, and to call down the steady ven- there are not less than ten or fifteen thousand geance of public execration, and the sure persons taken up yearly in Great Britain and light of public intelligence, for the repression Ireland on suspicion of crimes, of whom cerand redress of all public injustice.
tainly there are not two-thirds convicted; so The charm is in the little word PUBLICITY! that, in all likelihood, there are not fewer than -And it is cheering to think how many won- seven or eight thousand innocent persons placed ders have already been wrought by that pre- annually in this painful predicament-whose cious Talisman. "If the House of Commons very imprisonment, though an unavoidable, is was of no other use but as an organ for pro- beyond all dispute a very lamentable evil; claiming and inquiring into all alleged abuses, and to which no unnecessary addition can be and making public the results, under the made without the most tremendous injustice. sanction of names and numbers which no man The debtor, again, seems entitled to at dares to suspect of unfairness or inattention, least as much indulgence. “He may,” says it would be enough to place the country in Mr. Buxton,“ have been reduced to his inawhich it existed far above all terms of com- bility to satisfy his creditor by the visitation parison with any other, ancient or modern, in of God, -by disease, by personal accidents, which no such institution had been devised. by the failure of reasonable projects, by the Though the great work is done, however, by largeness or the helplessness of his family. that House and its committees—though it is His substance, and the substance of his credithere only that the mischief can be denounced tor, may have perished together in the flames, with a voice that reaches to the utmost bor- or in the waters. Human foresight cannot ders of the land—and there only that the seal always avert, and human industry cannot al. of unquestioned and unquestionable authority ways repair, the calamities to which our nacan be set to the statements which it authen- ture is subjected ;-surely, then, some debtors ticates and gives out to the world ;—there is are entitled to compassion.”—(p. 4.) of the still room, and need too, for the humbler min- number of debtors at any one time in confine istry of inferior agents, to circulate and en- ment in these kingdoms, we have no means force, to repeat and expound, the momentous of forming a conjecture; but beyond all doubt facts that have been thus collected, and upon they amount to many thousands, of whom which the public must ultimately decide. It probably one half have been reduced to that is this unambitious, but useful function that state by venial errors, or innocent misfortune. we now propose to perform, in laying before Even with regard to the convicted, we our readers a short view of the very interest- humbly conceive it to be clear, that where no ing facts which are detailed in the valuable special severity is enjoined by the law, any work of which the title is prefixed, and in the additional infliction beyond that of mere coparliamentary papers to which it refers. ercion, is illegal. If the greater delinquents
Prisons are employed for the confinement alone were subjected to such severities, there and security of at least three different descrip- might be a colour of equity in the practice; tions of persons :-first, of those who are ac- bui, in point of fact, they are inflicted accused of crimes and offences, but have not yet cording to the state of the prison, the usage been brought to trial; 2d, of those who have of the place, or the temper of the jailor ;-been convicted, and are imprisoned prepara- and, in all cases, they are inflicted indiscrimitory to, or as a part of, their punishment; and nately on the whole inmates of each unhappy 3.1, of debtors, who are neither convicted nor mansion. Even if it were otherwise, “Who," accused of any crime whatsoever. In both says Mr. B., "is to apportion this variety of the first classes, and even in that least enti- wretchedness? The Judge, who knows nothtled to favour, there is room for an infinity of ing of the interior of the jail; or the jailor; distinctions—from the case of the boy arraign- who knows nothing of the transactions of the ed or convicted for a slight assault or a breach Court? The law can easily suit its penalties of the peace, up to that of the bloody murderer to the circumstances of the case. It can ador hardened depredator, or veteran leader of judge to one offender imprisonment for one the house-breaking gang. All these persons day; to another for twenty years: But what must indeed be imprisoned—for so the law ingenuity would be sufficient to devise, and has declared ; but, under that sentence, we what discretion could be trusted to initiet, humbly conceive there is no warrant to inflict modes of imprisonment with similar variaon them any other punishment--any thing tions?"-p. 8. more than a restraint on their personal free- But the truth is, that all inflictions beyond dom. This, we think, is strictly true of all that of mere detention, are clearly illegal.- the three classes we have mentioned; but it Take the common case of fetters - frum will scarcely be disputed, at all events, that Bracton down to Blackstone, all our lawyers it is true of the first and the last. A man may declare the use of them to be contrary to law. avoid the penalties of Crime, by avoiding all the last says, in so many words, that "the criminality: But no man can be secure against | law will noi justify jailors in fettering a prisoner, unless where he is unruly or has at- | mitted, that in that quarter some alteration tempted an escape;" and, even in that case, might be desirable, though, in his apprehenthe practice seems to be questionable-if we sion, it was altogether impracticable. Though can trust to the memorable reply of Lord by no means inclined to adopt the whole of Chief Justice King to certain magistrates, the worthy Alderman's opinions, we may who urged their necessity for safe custody- safely say, that we should have been much " let them build their walls higher." Yet disposed to agree with him in thinking the has this matter been left, all over the king- subjects of those observations pretty nearly dom, as a thing altogether indifferent, to the incorrigible; and certainly should not have pleasure of the jailor or local magistrates; hesitated to pronounce the change which has and the practice accordingly has been the actually been made upon them altogether immost capricious and irregular that can well be possible. Mrs. Fry, however, knew better of imagined.
what both she and they were capable; and, "In Chelmsford, for example, and in Newgate, strong in the spirit of compassionate love, and all accused or convicted of felony are ironed. -At of that charity that hopeth all things, and beBury, and at Norwich, all are without irons.-At lieveth all things, set herself earnestly and Abingdon the untried are not ironed.-Ai Derby, humbly to that arduous and revolting task, in none but the untries are ironed !-At Cold-bath- which her endeavours have been so singularly fields, none but the untried, and those sent for re- blessed and effectual. This heroic and affecexamination, are ironed.- At Winchester, all before trial are ironed ; and those sentenced to transporta- tionate woman is the wife, we understand, of tion after trial.- At Chester, those alone of bad a respectable banker in London; and both character are ironed, whether tried or uniried." she and her husband belong to the Society of
pp. 68, 69.
Friends—that exemplary sect, which is the But these are trifles. The truth of the case first to begin and the last to abandon every is forcibly and briefly stated in the following scheme for the practical amendment of their short sentences :
fellow-creatures and who have carried into "You have no right to deprive a man sentenced all their schemes of reformation a spirit of to mere imprisonment of pure air, wholesome and practical wisdom, of magnanimous patience, sufficient food, and opportunities of exercise. You and merciful indulgence, which puts to shame have no right to debar him from the craft on which the rashness, harshness, and precipitation of his family depends, if it can be exercised in prison. sapient ministers, and presumptuous politiYou have no right to subject him to suffering from cians. We should like to lay the whole accold, by want of bed-clothing by night, or firing by count of her splendid campaign before our day. And the reason is plain ---you have taken him from his home, and have deprived him of ihe means readers; but our limits will no longer admit of of providing himself with ihe necessaries or com it. However, we shall do what we can; and, foris of life; and therefore you are bound to furnish at all events, no longer withhold them from a him with moderate indeed, but suitable accommo- part at least of this heart-stirring narrative. dation,
"You have, for the same reason, no right to “ About four years ago, Mrs. Fry was induced ruin his habits, by compelling him to be idle, his to visit Newgate, by the representations of its state morals, by compelling him to mix with a pro. made by some persons of the Society of Friends. miscuous assemblage of hardened and convicted "She found the female side in a situation which criminals, or his health by forcing him at night into no language can describe. Nearly three hundred a damp unventilated cell, with such crowds of com. women, sent there for every gradation of crime, panions, as very speedily render the air foul and some untried, and some under sentence of death. putrid, or to make him sleep in close con ct with were crowded together in the iwo wards and two the victims of contagious and loathsome disease, or cells, which are now appropriated to the uniried, amidst the noxious effluvia of dirt and corruption. and which are found quite inadequate to contain In short, no Judge ever condemned a man to be even this diminished number with any tolerable half starved with cold by day, or half suffocated convenience. Here they saw their friends, and kept with heat by night. Who ever heard of a criminal their muliudes of children ; and they had no other being sentenced to Rheumatism, or Typhus fever? place for cooking, washing, eating, and sleeping. Corruption of morals and contamination of mind They all slept on the floor; at times one hun. are not the remedies which the law in its wisdom dred and I wenty in one ward, without so much as has thought proper to adopi."'*
a mat for bedding; and many of them were very The abuses in Newgate, that great recepta spirits; and her ears were offended by the most
nearly naked. She saw them openly drinking cle of guilt and misery, constructed to hold terrible imprecations. Every thing was filthy to about four hundred and eighty prisoners, but excess, and the smell was quite disgusting. Every generally containing, of late years, from eight one, even the Governor, was reluctani 10 go hundred to twelve hundred, are' eloquently waich in the office, telling her that his presence
amongst them. He persuaded her to leave her set forth in the publication before us, though would not prevent its being torn from her! She we have no longer lest ourselves room to spe- saw enough to convince her that every thing bad cify them. It may be sufficient, however, to was going on. In short, in giving me this account, observe, that the state of the Women's wards she repeatedly said— All I tell thee is a faint pic. was universally allowed to be by far the ture of the reality; the filth, the closeness of the worst; and that even Alderman Atkins ad- rooms, the ferocious manners and expressions of
the women towards each other, and the abandoned *. I do not now reprint the detailed statements wickedness which every thing bespoke, are quite which formed the bulk of this paper, as originally indescribable.'"-pp. 117–119. published ; and retain only ihe account of the mar. vellous reformation effecied in Newgate, by the
Her design, at this time, was confined to heroic labours of Mrs. Fry and her sisters of Charity the instruction of about seventy children, who -of which I think it a duty to omit nothing that were wandering about in this scene of horror; may help to perpetuate the remembrance. and for whom even the most abandoned of
their wretched mothers thanked her with consisted of the wife of a clergyman, and eleven tears of gratitude for her benevolent inten- (female) members of the Society of Friends. They tions! while several of the younger women professed their willingness to suspend every other Alocked about her, and entreated, with the selves 10 Newgale; and in truth, they have per: most pathetic eagerness, to be admitted to formed their promise. With no interval of relaxa. her intended school. She now applied to the tion, and with but few intermissions from the call Governor, and had an interview with the two of other and more imperious duties, they have since Sheriffs and the Ordinary, who received her lived amongst the prisoners." with the most cordial approbation ; but fairly Even this astonishing progress could not intimated to her “ their persuasion that her correct the incredulity of men of benevolence efforts would be utterly fruitless.” After some and knowledge of the world. The Reverend investigation, it was officially reported, that Ordinary, though filled with admiration for there was no vacant spot in which the school the exertions of this intrepid and devoted could be established; and an ordinary philan- band, fairly told Mrs. F. that her designs, like thropist would probably have retired disheart. many others for the improvement of that ened from the undertaking. Mrs. Fry, how- wretched mansion, " would inevitably fail.” ever, mildly requested to be admitted once The Governor encouraged her to go on-but more alone among the women, that she might confessed to his friends, that "he could not conduct the search for herself. Difficulties see even the possibility of her success.” But always disappear before the energy of real the wisdom of this world is foolishness, and zeal and benevolence: an empty cell was im- its fears but snares to entangle our feet in the mediately discovered, and the school was to career of our duty. Mrs. F. saw with other be opened the very day aster.
eyes, and felt with another heart. She went " The next day she commenced the school, in again to the Sheriffs and the Governor;-near company with a young lady, who then visited a
one hundred of the women were brought beprison for the first time, and who since gave me a fore them, and, with much solemnity and earvery interesting description of her feelings pon that occasion. The railing was crowded with half naked nestness, engaged to give the strictest obediwomen, struggling iogether for the front situa ence to all the regulations of their heroic benetions with the most boisterous violence, and begging factress. A set of rules was accordingly with the utmosi vociferation. She felt as if she was promulgated, which we have not room here to going into a den of wild beasts; and she well recol. transcribe; but they imported the sacrifice of Tects quite shuddering when the door closed upon all their darling and much cherished vices ;novel and desperate companions. This day, how. drinking, gaming, card-playing, novel reading, ever, the school surpassed their uimost expeciations: were entirely prohibited-and regular applitheir only pain arose from the numerous and press cation to work engaged for in every quarter. ing applications made by young women, who longed For the space of one month these benevolent to be iaught and employed. The narrow'ness of the
women laboured in private in the midst of room rendered it then impossible to yield to these their unhappy flock; at the end of that short requests: Billy they tempted these ladies to project time they invited the Corporation of London a school for the employment of the tried women, for teaching them to read and 10 work."
to satisfy themselves, by inspection, of the “When this intention was mentioned to the effect of their pious exertions. friends of these ladies, it appeared at first so vision. ary and unpromising, that it met with very slender “In compliance with this appointment, the Lord encouragement: they were told that the certain Mayor, the Sheriffs, and several of the Aldermen, consequence of introducing work would be, that it attended. The prisoners were assembled logeiber; would be stolen; that though such an experiment and it being requested that no alteration in their might be reasonable enough, if made in the country, usual practice might take place, one of the ladies among women who had been accustomed to hard read a chapter in the Bible, and then the females labour, it was quite hopeless, when tried upon those proceeded io their various avocations. Their atten. who had been so long habituated 10 vice and idle-lion during the time of reading, their orderly and
In short, it was predicted, and by many too, sober deportment, their deceni dress, the absence whose wisdom and benevolence added weight to of every ihing like tumult, noise, or contention, the their opinions, that those who had set at defiance obedience, and the respect shown by them, and the the law of the land, with all its terrors, would very cheerfulness visible in iheir countenances and man. speedily revolt from an authority which had nothing ners, conspired to excite the astonishment and adto enforce it; and nothing more to recommend it miration of their visitors. than its simplicity and gentleness. But the noble “Many of these knew Newgate ; had visited it zeal of these unassuming women was not to be so a few months before, and had not forgotten ihe repressed; and feeling that their design was in painful impressions made by a scene, exhibiting, tended for the good and the happiness of others. perhaps, the very utmost limits of misery and guilt. they trusted that it would receive the guidance and - They now gaw, what, without exaggeration, may protection of Him who often is pleased to accom- be called a transformation Riot, licenijousness, plish the highest purposes by the most feeble instru- and filth, exchanged for order, sobriety, and com
parative neatness in the chamber, the apparel, and “With these impressions, they had the boldness ihe persons of the prisoners. They saw no more to declare, ihat if a committee could be found who an assemblage of abandoned and shameless crea would share the labour, and a matron who would tures, half-naked and half-drunk, rather demanding, engage never to leave the prison, day or night, they han requesting charlıy. The prison no more re. would undertake to try ihe experimeni, that is, sounded with obscenity, and imprecations, and lithey would themselves find employment for the centious songs; and to use the coarse, but the just, women, procure the necessary money, till the city expression of one who knew the prison well, this could be induced to relieve them, and be answer. hell upon earth,' already exhibited the appearance able for the safety of the properly committed into of an industrious manufactory, or a well regulated the hands of the prisoners.
family. The committee immediately presented itself; it “The magistrates, to evince their sense of the
importance of the alterations which had been ef- a Bible in her life, which was received with so much fecied, immediately adopted the whole plan as a part interest and satisfaction, or one, which she thinks of the system of Newgate; empowered the ladies more likely to do good. It is remarkable, that this to punish the refractory by short confinement, un girl, from her conduct in her preceding prison, and dertook part of the expense of the matron, and in court, came to Newgate with the worst of char. louded the ladies with thanks and benedictions." aciers.''-p. 134.
pp. 130, 131.
The change, indeed, pervaded every deWe can add nothing to this touching and partment of the female division. Those who elevating statement. The story of a glorious were marched off for transportation, instead victory gives us a less powerful or proud of breaking the windows and furniture, and emotion—and thanks and benedictions appear going off, according to immemorial usage, with to us never to have been so richly deserved.
drunken songs and intolerable disorder, took “A year, says Mr. Buxton, has now elapsed a serious and tender leave of their compansince the operations in Newgate began; and i hose ions, and expressed the utmost gratitude to most competent 10 judge, the late Lord Mayor and their benefactors, from whom they paried the present, the late Sheriff's and the present, the with tears. Stealing has also been entirely Juries, the Chairman of the Police Committee, the suppressed ; and, while upwards of twenty Ordinary, and the officers of the prison, have all thousand articles of dress have been manudeclared their satisfaction, mixed with astonish- factured, not one has been lost or purloined ment, at the alteration which has taken place in the within the precincts of the prison ! conduct of the females.
We have nothing more to say; and would It is true, and the Ladies' Committee are anx; not willingly weaken the effect of this im. jous that it should not be concealed, that some of the rules have been occasionally broken. Spirits, pressive statement by any observations of they fear, have more than once been introduced ;
ours. Let us hear no more of the difficully and it was discovered at one period, when many of of regulating provincial prisons, when the the ladies were absent, that card-playing had been prostitute felons of London have been thus resumed. But, though truth compels them to ac- easily reformed and converted. Let us never knowledge these deviations, they have been of a very limited extent. I could find but one lady who again be told of the impossibility of repressheard an oath, and there had not been above half.a
ing drunkenness and profligacy, or introducing dozen instances of intoxication; and the ladies feel habits of industry in small establishments, justified in stating, that the rules have generally when this great crater of vice and corruption been observed. The ladies themselves have been has been thus stilled and purified. And, above treated wih uniform respect and gratitude." all, let there be an end of the pitiful apology
pp. 132, 133.
of the want of funds, or means, or agents, to At the close of a Session, many of the re- effect those easier improvements, when woformed prisoners were dismissed, and many men from the middle ranks of life — when new ones were received — and, under their quiet unassuming matrons, unaccustomed to auspices, card-playing was again introduced. business, or to any but domestic exertions, One of the ladies, however, went among them have, without funds, without agents, without alone, and earnestly and affectionately ex- aid or encouragement of any description, plained to them the pernicious consequences trusted themselves within the very centre of of this practice; and represented to them infection and despair; and, by opening their how much she would be gratified, if, even hearts only, and not their purses, have effect from regard to her, they would agree to re-ed, by the mere force of kindness, gentleness, nounce it.
and compassion, a labour, the like to which “Soon after she retired to the ladies' room, one has smoothed the way and insured success
does not remain to be performed, and which or the prisoners came to her, and expressed, in a manner which indicated real feeling, her sorrow for to all similar labours. We cannot Enry the having broken the rules of so kind a friend, and happiness which Mrs. Fry must enjoy from gave her a pack of cards : four others did the same. the consciousness of her own great achieve. Having burnt the cards in their presence, she felt ments ;-but there is no happiness or honour bound to remunerate them for their value, and 10 of which we should be so proud to be par. mark her sense of their ready obedience hy some small present.
A few days afterwards, she called akers: And we seem to relieve our own the first to her, and telling her intention, produced hearts of their share of national gratitude, in a neat muslin handkerchief. To her surprise, the thus placing on her simple and modest brove, girl looked disappointed ; and, on being asked the that truly Civic Crown, which far outshines reason, confessed she had hoped that Mrs. would have given her a Bible with her own name
the laurels of conquest, or the coronals of written in it! which she should value beyond any power- and can only be outshove itself, by thing else, and always keep and rend. Such a those wreaths of imperishable glory which request, made in such a manner, could not be re- await the champions of Faith and Charity in fused; and the lady assures me that she never gavel a higher state of existence.
(April, 1806.) Memoirs of Richard Cumberland : written by himself. Containing an Account of his Life
and Writings, interspersed with Anecdotes and Characters of the most distinguished Persons of his Time with whom he had Intercourse or Connection. 4to. pp. 533. London: 1806.* We certainly have no wish for the death, however, to let authors tell their own story, of Mr. Cumberland; on the contrary, we hope as an apology for telling that of all their ache will live long enough to make a large sup- quaintances; and can easily forgive them for plement to these memoirs: But he has em- grouping and assorting their anecdotes of their barrassed us a little by publishing this volume contemporaries, according to the chronology, in his lifetime. We are extremely unwilling and incidents of their own lives. This is but to say any thing that may hurt the feelings indulging the painter of a great gallery of of a man of distinguished talents, who is draw- worthies with a panel for his own portrait; ing to the end of his career, and imagines that and though it will probably be the least liké he has hitherto been ill used by the world : of the whole collection, it would be hard to but he has shown, in this publication, such an grudge him this little gratification. appetite for praise, and such a jealousy of Life has often been compared to a journey; censure, that we are afraid we cannot do our and the simile seems to hold better in nothing duty conscientiously, without giving him of- than in the identity of the rules by which fence. The truth is, that the book has rather those who write their travels, and those who disappointed us. We expected it to be ex- write their lives, should be governed. When tremely amusing; and it is not. There is too a man returns from visiting any celebrated much of the first part of the title in it, and too region, we expect to hear much more of the little of the last. Of the life and writings of remarkable things and persons he has seen, Richard Cumberland, we hear more than than of his own personal transactions; and enough; but of the distinguished persons with are naturally disappointed if, after saying that whom he lived, we have many fewer charac- he lived much with illustrious statesmen or ters and anecdotes than we could have wish heroes, he chooses rather to tell us of his own ed. We are the more inclined to regret this, travelling equipage, or of his cookery and serboth because the general style of Mr. Cum- vants, than to give us any account of the berland's compositions has convinced us, that character and conversation of those distinno one could have exhibited characters and guished persons. In the same manner, when anecdotes in a more engaging manner, and at the close of a long life, spent in circles of because, from what he has put into this book, literary and political celebrity, an author sits we actually see that he had excellent oppor- down to give the world an account of his retunities for collecting, and still better talents trospections, it is reasonable to stipulate that for relating them. The anecdotes and charac- he should talk less of himself than of his as ters which we have, are given in a very pleas- sociates; and natural to complain, if he tells ing and animated manner, and form the chief long stories of his schoolmasters and grandmerit of the publication: But they do not oc- mothers, while he passes over some of the cupy one ter
part of it; and the rest is filled most illustrious of his companions with a bare with details that do not often interest, and ob- mention of their names. servations that do not always amuse.
Mr. Cumberland has offended a little in this Authors, we think, should not, generally, way. He has also composed these memoirs, be encouraged to write their own lives. The we think, in too diffuse, rambling, and caregenius of Rousseau, his enthusiasm, and the less a style. There is evidently no selection novelty of his plan, have rendered the Con- or method in his narratiye : and unweighed fessions, in some respects, the most interest- remarks, and fatiguing apologies and protesing of books. But a writer, who is in full ! tations, are tediously interwoven with it, in possession of his senses, who has lived in the the genuine style of good-natured but irrepresworld like the men and women who compose sible loquacity. The whole composition, init, and whose vanity aims only at the praise deed, has not only too much the air of conof great talents and accomplishments, must versation : It has sometimes an unfortunate not hope to write a book like the Confessions: ' resemblance to the conversation of a professed and is scarcely to be trusted with the delinea- talker; and we meet with many passages in tion of his own character or the narrative of , which the author appears to work himself up his own adventures. We have no objection, to an artificial vivacity, and to give a certain
air of smartness to his expression, by the in* I reprint part of this paper-for the sake chiefly troduction of cant phrases, odd metaphors, and of the anecdotes of Bentley, Bubb Dodington, a sort of practised and theatrical originality. Soame Jenyns, and a few others, which I think The work, however, is well worth looking remarkable-and very much, also, for the lively over, and contains many more amusing pasnew style of acting, as compared with that of Quin sages than we can afford to extract on the and the old schools—which is as good and as cu- present occasion. rious as Colley Cibber's admirable sketches of Mr. Cumberland was born in 1732; and he Betterton and Booth.
has a very natural pride in relating that his