« VorigeDoorgaan »
1. NewGATE: A RETROSPECT,
IV. AN UNPUBLISHED DIARY WRITTEN BY
Gentleman's Magazine, .
VII. THE CHARM OF GARIBALDI,
THE LOVE OF THE PAST.
Nothing but ashes grey ? No blest As sailors watch from their prison
Faint glimmer of light on roof or wall ? For the long gray line of the coasts,
A weary search was this day.long quest, I look to the past re-arisen,
And on empty hands the shadows fail:
Let us creep to bed and forget it all.
Ε. Η. I love not th' indelicate present,
The future's unknown to our quest,
“GIRL GRADUATES.” The joy of the past is the best.
“A novel feature at the meeting of Convocation of
London University, was the appearance, for the first The rose of the past is better
time, of Female Graduates in Academical costume.” – Than the rose we ravish to-day;
Nature. 'Tis holier, purer, and fitter
Girl Graduates ! They realize To place on the shrine where we pray
Our Tennyson's old fancies, For the secret thoughts we obey.
And winning Academic prize,
They scorn seductive dances. There, are no deceptions nor changes,
Here come the feminine M.D.'s, There, all is placid and still;
Of physic fair concocters, No grief, nor fate that estranges,
Who write prescriptions with such ease, Nor hope that no life can fulfil,
The “ violet-hooded doctors.” But ethereal shelter from ill.
And here are those who won success The coarser delights of the hour
In fields supremely classic, Tempt, and debauch and deprave;
Who read of Neobule's dress, And we joy in a poisonous flower,
Of Horace and his Massic. Knowing that nothing can save
Here female rhetoricians tell Our flesh from the fate of the grave.
How useful many a trope is ;
And men will learn, perchance too well, But surely we leave them, returning,
If girls are all βοώπις.
How strange to some folks it must seem,
This modern Convocation;
Aspasia rules the Academe,
Once man's exclusive station;
And those who bow beneath her yoke,
The strongest men and sternest,
Silver the lawn with their starlets fair; But the blossoms of noon shall be stately and tall,
DE IMITATIONE. Tropical, luscious, of odors rare :
WHERE is the Church that once made brave Ah well!
the world Noon shall be gorgeous beyond compare.
With rainbow sails and Aying dignities?
What of the Fathers, fierce-browed captains, Noon, and the sky is a blinding glare :
is The flowers have fainted while we have Left for a solace now? With sails unfurled strayed ;
On safer seas the Church her commerce plies We wandered too far to tend them there,
Of tidings glad from holy morning lands, And they drooped for lack of the dew and Nor claims with bitter loss of brains and shade :
hand Ah well!
An easy north-west passage to the skies. Evening shall right the mistake we made.
How were they named, these captains ? Who
can tell? Evening ; 'tis chilly in meadow and glade,
The stories of their victories and wrecks The last pale rose has died in the west;
Charm us no more. Thee only love we well The happy hour is long delayed,
Whose ship The Imitation, with its decks Our wandering is but a long unrest : Of peace and love.pure sails and helm of grace, Ah well!
So gently voyaged to God's own blessed place. We will home to the fireside. Home is best.
From The Fortnightly Review, life. Light scarcely penetrated their dark NEWGATE: A RETROSPECT.
and loathsome dungeons; no breath of In antiquity and varied interest New- fresh air sweetened the fetid atmosphere gate prison yields to no place of durance they breathed; that they enjoyed the luxin the world. A gaol has stood on this ury of water was due to the munificence same site for almost a thousand years.
of a pious ecclesiastic. As for their daily The first prison was nearly as old as the subsistence it was most precarious. Food, Tower of London, and much older than clothing, fuel were doled out in limited the Bastille. Hundreds of thousands of quantities by prosperous citizens as chari“felons and trespassers ” have from first table gifts, while some bequeathed small to last been incarcerated within ; and to legacies to be expended in the same artimany it must have been an abode of sor-cles of supply. These bare prison allowrow, suffering, and unspeakable woe, a ances were further eked out by the chance kind of terrestrial inferno, to enter which seizures in the markets; by bread forwas to abandon every hope. Imprison. feited as inferior or of light weight, and ment was often lightly and capriciously meat unfit to be publicly sold. All classes inflicted in days before our liberties were and categories of prisoners were herded fully won, and innumerable victims of indiscriminately together: men and womtyranny and oppression have been lodged en, tried and untried, upright but mis. in Newgate. Political troubles also sent guided zealots with hardened habitual their quota; the gaol was the halfway. offenders. The only principle of classifihouse to the scaffold or the gallows for cation was a prisoner's ability or otherturbulent or short-sighted persons who wise to pay certain fees; money could espoused the losing side ; it was the start. purchase the squalid comfort of the mas. ing-place for that painful pilgrimage to ter's side, but no immunity from the bale. the pillory or whipping-post which was too ful companionship of felons equally well frequently the punishment for rashly ut- furnished with funds and no less anxious tered libels and philippics against consti- to escape the awful horrors of the comtuted power. Newgate, again, was on the mon side of the gaol. The weight of the highroad to Smithfield ; in times of intol. chains again, which innocent and guilty erance and fierce religious dissensions all alike wore, depended upon the price numbers of devoted martyrs went thence a prisoner could pay for “easement of to suffer for conscience' sake at the stake. irons,” and it was a common practice to For centuries a large section of the per- overload a new comer with enormous fet. manent population of Newgate, as of all ters and so terrify him into lavish dis. gaols, consisted of offenders against com- bursements. The gaol at all times was mercial law's; fraudulent bankrupts were so hideously overcrowded that plague and hanged, others more unfortunate than pestilence perpetually ravaged it, and the criminal were clapped into gaol to linger deadly infection often spread into the out their lives without the chance of earn- neighboring courts of law. ing the funds by which alone freedom The foregoing is an imperfect but by could be recovered. Debtors of all de. no means overcolored picture of Newgate grees were equally condemned to languish as it existed for hundreds of years, from for years in prison often for the most pal. the twelfth century, indeed, to the nine. try sums — innocent persons also; gaol. teenth. The description is supported by deliveries were rare, and the boon of historical records somewhat meagre at arraignment and fair trial was strangely first perhaps, but becoming more and and unjustly withheld, while even those more ample and better substantiated as acquitted in open court were often haled the period grows less remote. We have back to prison because they were unable but scant information as to the first gate. to discharge the gaoler's illegal fees. The house gaol. Being part and parcel of the condition of the prisoners was long most city fortifications, it was intended mainly deplorable. They were but scantily sup- for defence, and the prison accommoda. plied with the commonest necessaries of Ition which the gate afforded with its
dungeons beneath, and garrets above, ing duly treated Andrew to liquor unlim. must have been of the most limited de-ited, he was constituted “white son” to scription. More pains were no doubt the governor and governess of Newgate, taken to keep the exterior strong and safe and was given the best room in the prison, against attack, than to render the interior with all admissible indulgences. The habitable, and we may conclude that the best room was very draughty, unquiet, moneys willed by Whittington for the re- and full of evil savors, and Underhill
, edification of Newgate were principally falling into an ague, was moved into the expended on the restoration and improve- gaoler's own parlor, far from the noise of ments of the prison. “Whit's palace,” the prison. But his new chamber was as rebuilt by Whittington's executors, near the kitchen, and the smell of meat lasted for a couple of centuries, and was was more than he could bear, whereupon the principal gaol for the metropolis. Mistress Andrew put him away in her Reference is constantly made to it in the store-closet, “amidst her best plate, crockhistory of the times. It was the natural ery, and clothes." receptacle for rogues, roysterers, and With occasional, but not always suffimasterless men. It is described as a hot. cient, repairs, but without structural albed of vice, a nursery of crime. Drunk. terations, Whittington's Newgate conenness, gaming, profligacy of the vilest tinued to serve down to the seventeenth sort, went forward in the prison without century. About 1629 it was in a state of let or hindrance. Contemporary petitions, utter ruin, and such extensive works were preserved in the State papers, penned by undertaken to re-edify it that the security inmates of Newgate pining for liberty, of the gaol was said to be endangered, call their prison house a foul and noisome and it was thought better to pardon most den. The gaoler for the time being was of the prisoners before they set themcertain to be a brutal partisan of the selves free. Lupton, in his “ London Carparty in power, especially bitter to reli- bonadoed," speaks of Newgate as gious or political opponents who fell into fronted and new-faced” in 1638. Its his hands. Such an one was Alexander accommodation must have been sorely Andrew, the keeper in Mary's reign. So tried in the troublous years which folviolent was his hatred of Protestants, lowed. It seems to have been in the Foxe tells us, that he would go to Bonner time of the Commonwealth when “our crying, “ Rid my prison, I am too much churches were made into prisons," and pestered with heretics." Overflowing demands for space had greatly multiplied, with zeal, he brought all his powers of that Newgate was increased by the addipersuasion, fair words and promises of tion of the buildings belonging to the kind treatment, to induce his prisoners to Phønix Inn in Newgate Street. The recant. He had so little compassion that great fire of 1666 gutted, if not completely he forbade good old Master Rogers, the destroyed, Newgate, and its reconstrucproto-martyr of the Maryan persecutions, tion becaine imperative. Some say Wren to share his meals with his starving fellow- was the architect of the new prison, but prisoners. Alexander, on the other hand, the fact is not fully substantiated. Auwas lenient enough to prisoners of the thentic and detailed information has, howright way of thinking. In the narrative ever, been preserved concerning it; it is of Underhill, the Hot Gospeller, commit- figured in a familiar woodcut which may ted to Newgate in 1553, Alexander An. be seen in every modern history of Lon. drew and his wife, who shared his duties, don, while a full description of the inare described as fcasting and carousing in terior, both plan and appropriation, has the great central hall of Newgate with been left by an anonymous writer, who prisoners who were clever enough to keep was himself an inmate of the gaol. The their religious views in the background, prison was still subordinated to the gate, and ready to pay for their gaoler's enter. which was an ornate structure, with great tainment. Underhill gives us a curious architectural pretensions. Tuscan pilasglimpse of the inside of the prison. Hav. I ters, with statues in the intervening niches decorated both fronts; the western had aed, that the place has the exact aspect of figure of Liberty with Whittington's cat hell itself." To the common felons this at her feet; on the eastern were figures of must have been their only enjoyment, for Justice, Mercy, and Truth. But as a their condition was truly awful, and the writer in the Gentleman's Magazine well side they occupied is fitly described as put it about a century ago, “ The sump- "a most terrible, wicked, and dreadful tuousness of the outside but aggravated place." There were five wards in it; the the misery of the wretches within.” A stone hold, an underground dungeon, fair conception of the horrors of the in- dark and dismal, into which no daylight terior will best be obtained from a brief ever penetrated, and which was reserved account of its various parts. Some effort for such as could not pay their entrance was made to classify, and the Newgate of fees; alongside was the lower ward, also that day contained five principal divisions an underground den ; above it was the or sides : there was the master's side, for middle ward, for selons who could just debtors and felons respectively; the com- meet the simplest demands for sees. mon side, for those same two classes of These were for males ; female felons prisoners; and lastly the press yard, for were lodged in "waterman's hall," a very prisoners of note. The master debtors' dark and stinking place, and having as side consisted of three wards or rooms near neighbors the “press room,” used which were furnished at high rates, with for the infliction of peine forte et dure, the flock beds, tables, and chairs; in the mas- “ bilbows,” another refractory cell, and ter selons' side were a couple of wards the women's condemned cell, a dismal, above and communicating with the “gig. cheerless dungeon. The female felons ger," an interviewing chamber where fel. had another ward, at the top of the prison, ons, on payment, saw their friends, while a foul place lighted by one small window, below the gigger was an underground tap- where the women “suffered themselves room, or drinking.vault, to which the fel. to live far worse than swine, and, to speak ons on the master's side had access at all the truth, the Augean stable could bear hours, and where they might drink as no comparison to it, for they are almost deep as they pleased. The right to oc- poisoned by their own filth, and their con. cupy the master's side was a luxury dearly versation is nothing but one continued purchased, but the accounmodation ob. course of swearing, cursing, and debauchtained, albeit indifferent, was palatial to ery, insomuch that it passes all description that provided for the impecunious on the and belief.” common side. Penniless debtors were The only inmates of the Newgate prison cast into the “stone hall,” close to which I am now describing comparatively well was the “partner's room," a species of off, were those admitted to the press punishment cell for the refractory; into yard; a division composed of “large and "Tangier," a larger room, but "dark and spacious rooms” on all the three floors of stinking," and aptly named; or into a the prison, and deemed by a legal fiction debtors' hall, a third room upon the top to be part of the governor's house. That story, well provided with light but with functionary made these, his involuntary unglazed windows, and having as its im- lodgers, pay just what he chose. His rates mediate neighbor “ Jack Ketch's kitchen,” were proportionate to a prisoner's means, where that "honest sellow, the hangman,” and inight be anything between twenty boiled the quarters of those executed and and a hundred pounds as a premium, with dismembered for high treason. The poor a high weekly rental, and exorbitant debtors were not denied the indulgence of charges for extras besides. But the genliquor, if they could only pay for it. In tlemen of the press yard, whether State one corner of the stone hall above men- prisoner, aristocratic or opulent criminal, tioned was a
"tap-house,” which felons could buy what was denied to their poorer on this side were secretly permitted to fellows upon the other side : abundant light enter, to drink with the debtors,“ by and air, clecent beds, clean and sufficient which means such wretchedness abound. I bedding, and the attendance of servants.