Page images

Of rivers and of ocean, by the ways

Of the thronged city, have been hollowed out
And filled, and closed. This day hath parted friends
That ne'er before were parted; it hath knit
New friendships; it hath seen the maiden plight
Her faith, and trust her peace to him who long
Had wooed; and it hath heard, from lips which late
Were eloquent of love, the first harsh word,
That told the wedded one her peace was flown.
Farewell to the sweet sunshine. One glad day
Is added now to Childhood's merry days,
And one calm day to those of quiet age.
Still the fleet hours run on; and as I lean,
Amid the thickening darkness, lamps are lit,
By those who watch the dead, and those who twine
Flowers for the bride. The mother from the eyes
Of her sick infant shades the painful light,

And sadly listens to his quick-drawn breath."

The "Old Man's Counsel" is Wordsworth "stepping westward." It is quite a counterpart to "The Leech-gatherer on the lonely Moor." Lines such us these may do us good to the last:

"Wisely, my son, while yet thy days are long,
And this fair change of seasons passes slow,
Gather and treasure up the good they yield-
All that they teach of virtue, of pure thoughts
And kind affections, reverence for thy God
And for thy brethren; so when thou shalt come
Into these barren years, thou may'st not bring
A mind unfurnished and a withered heart.”

Reader, hast thou a heart in thy bosom? Judge whether it be withered or not, by what thou feelest over these simple and pathetic verses. They are headed "The Future Life," and might certainly contribute something to make the best of us more meet for it :


"How shall I know thee in the sphere which keeps
The disembodied spirits of the dead,

When all of thee that time could wither sleeps
And perishes among the dust we tread?

"For I shall feel the sting of ceaseless pain
If there I meet thy gentle presence not;
Nor hear the voice I love, nor read again
In thy serenest eyes the tender thought.

"Will not thy own meek heart demand me there;
That heart whose fondest throbs to me were given?
My name on earth was ever in thy prayer,

Shall it be banished from thy tongue in heaven?

"In meadows fanned by heaven's life-breathing wind,
In the resplendence of that glorious sphere,
And larger movements of the unfettered mind,
Will thou forget the love that joined us here?

The love that lived through all the stormy past,
And meekly with my harsher nature bore,
And deeper grew, and tenderer to the last,
Shall it expire with life, and be no more?

"A happier lot than mine, and larger light,

Await thee there; for thou hast bowed thy will
In cheerful homage to the rule of right,
And lovest all, and renderest good for ill,

For me, the sordid cares in which I dwell,

Shrink and consume the heart, as heat the scroll;
And wrath hath left its scar-that fire of hell
Has left its frightful scar upon my soul.

"Yet, though thou wear'st the glory of the sky,
Wilt thou not keep the same beloved name,
The same fair thoughtful brow, and gentle eye,
Lovelier in heaven's sweet climate, yet the same?

Shalt thou not teach me, in that calmer home,
The wisdom that I learned so ill in this-
The wisdom which is love-till I become

Thy fit companion in that land of bliss ?"

Our closing extract shall be from the poem called “The Winds." The stanza is an unusual, and to us not an agreeable one; but the thoughts are great, and the expression of them vigorous and majestic.

"Ye dart upon the deep, and straight is heard

A wilder roar, and men grow pale, and pray;

Ye fling its floods around you, as a bird

Flings o'er his shivering plumes the fountain's spray ;

See! to the breaking mast the sailor clings;

Ye scoop the ocean to its briny springs,

And take the mountain billow on your wings,

And pile the wreck of navies round the bay.

"Why rage ye thus ?—no strife for liberty

Has made you mad; no tyrant, strong through fear,
Has chained your pinions till ye wrenched them free,
And rushed into the unmeasured atmosphere:
For ye were born in freedom where ye blow;
Free o'er the mighty deep to come and go;

Earth's solemn woods were yours, her wastes of snow,
Her isles where summer blossoms all the year.

[ocr errors]


wild winds! A mightier Power than yours
In chains upon the shore of Europe lies;

The sceptred throng, whose fetters he endures,
Watch his mute throes with terror in their eyes :
And armed warriors all around him stand,
And, as he struggles, tighten every band,
And lift the heavy spear, with threatening hand,
To pierce the victim, should he strive to rise.
"Yet oh, when that wronged Spirit of our race

Shall break, as soon he must, his long-worn chains,
And leap in freedom from his prison-place,

Lord of his ancient hills and fruitful plains,
Let him not rise, like these mad winds of air,
To waste the loveliness that time could spare,
To fill the earth with woe, and blot her fair,

Unconscious breast with blood from human veins.
"But may he like the Spring-time come abroad,

Who crumbles winter's gyves with gentle might,
When in the genial breeze, the breath of God,
Come spouting up the unsealed springs to light;
Flowers start from their dark prisons at his feet,
The woods, long dumb, awake to hymnings sweet,
And morn and eve, whose glimmerings almost meet,

Crowd back to narrow bounds the ancient night."

We need not say how profoundly we respond to the sentiment embodied in the two last stanzas. Force, we believe, can only make premature revolutions. Opinion only can make them in the fulness and perfectness of time. Changes from the Outward to the Inward are always superficial and unsatisfactory: Changes, yet to be effected by the Inward upon the Outward, are the true hopes of Man-in name only, forlorn; in reality, invincible and divine.

J. J.


In our Number for July, we gave an account of the state of what we called one of the "best of our old prisons," and we showed how totally inadequate such a prison was to the true end of punishment, the reformation of the offender. We at the same

time contrasted the financial and the moral results of that receptacle, and various other receptacles, both in England and on the Continent, for the punishment and reformation of offenders. At that time we had access to comparatively small means of judging how far the details we then possessed would hold good, when tested by an analysis of a much more numerous class of offenders; we have now however before us, a careful analysis of the results of our present system of penal discipline, which not only fully sustains all that we formerly advanced, but also gives additional evidence that we are not diminishing, but rather increasing crime, by the course which we are now holding on this most important subject. The progress of all reforms is slow, and the advocates for any system which will prevent misery and wrong, but which at the same time demands serious thought, accurate investigation, and considerable change in all our habits and feelings with regard to the criminal population, must be content to wait patiently for the accomplishment of their views; hopefully casting their bread upon the waters, and seizing every fair opportunity of bringing before the public all the evidence which can be adduced on behalf of the salutary change which they desire to effect. Public men are for the most part too deeply embarked in the struggles of party, or in the investigation of more agreeable and inviting subjects, to give their time and attention to the painful details of misfortune or of crime. This subject, however, cannot be much longer postponed. The criminal population is increasing, the cost of it will soon be seriously felt, and a full inquiry must be made, if not into the causes of, at least into the most likely cure for, the monstrous evil which oppresses us with a force hitherto unknown at any period in our history.

We are persuaded, when this inquiry shall have taken place, that we shall begin a new career, and build Reformatories as well as Prisons.

The most urgent want felt by every magistrate in our crowded towns, where the temptations to crime, whether arising from the exposure of valuable property, or from the privations of a large portion of the people is greater than elsewhere, is an institution where, for a first offence, a juvenile offender may be

placed under the care of moral teachers, beyond the possibility of contamination from hardened and desperate criminals. To send a boy to one of our crowded prisons, is to run great risk of making him a confirmed criminal. Far better would it be to remove him at once, whilst he has a full sense of shame and sorrow, to the care of strict and sensible teachers, as at Horn and Mettray, who would keep a moral sense awake within him, and restore him, reformed to society, not only in a shorter time, but at a much less expense, than by confining him in a gaol. However, we are not at present disposed to enter more fully upon the abstract question. We have a volume of evidence, in a very small compass, lying before us, which we trust those of our readers who have examined our former articles on this subject will peruse with attention. They will see how strongly this analysis confirms the views we have already given, and how many serious additional subjects for reflection it suggests. Many of them we shall probably recur to in a future paper; all of them are of the deepest importance.


The following paper contains an analysis of very elaborate Tables of Criminal Statistics for the year ending September 1842. These tables are now before us, and we have reluctantly abandoned the idea of printing them herewith; they are among the most complete and satisfactory records we have ever seen on this subject, and they do infinite credit to the talent, the zeal, and the industry of Mr. Highton, the Governor of the Liverpool Borough Gaol, by whom they have been compiled. No more valuable material for thought or for legislation can be furnished, and it would be well if every man charged with a like establishment would give us such a return as this which Mr. Highton has so judiciously prepared. Such documents enable us, better than any thing else, to form an exact estimate of the working of our present system. From these facts there is no shrinking: they prove, beyond doubt, that we are persevering in a system, as far as juvenile offenders are concerned, detrimental to the morals of the people, and at a cost far beyond any estimate that can be formed of a wiser, a more humane, and Christian course.

The first table compiled by Mr. Highton has reference to the habits and characters of the prisoners committed to take their trials for felonies during the year 1842. It has, says he, been compiled from a detailed account of each individual, taken from their own statements, verified by inquiries from their Visitors, and when it was possible, from other sources. In all cases where there was doubt, where probability was opposed to

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »