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would still hold to these exceptions, but outside these, he characterizes capital punishment as " unjust, immoral, and excessive;" concluding his section on that subject with offering, as the crowning point of the new system of prison discipline, “l'abolition définitive de la peine de mort.” But not yet, nor till the penal question has undergone thorough revision.
Passing to the moral appliances of punishment, M. Lepelletier, above all, urges the necessity of work;' manufactures for some, for others field labour. He ridicules the idea of flight or “ armed revolt,” in setting convicts to work in the fields, armed with spades and pickaxes. And so far as the experiment has been tried, and wherever it has been tried, the evil effects predicted by the simply punitive school have not been realised. ‘A strict classification of agricultural and manufacturing criminals-not setting one to do the work of the other, but employing each in the manner best suited to him and most profitable to him hereafter,—“would found one of the best penitentiary institutions, with the immense advantage of satisfying all needs and conciliating all interests.” Mettray and the prison at Berne have no walls. The young criminals of the first, and the adults of the second, work in the fields guarded by a very few armed guards ; and from both these establishments flights are more possible, and more rarely attempted, than in our strictest stone and iron gaols. Careful instruction, both secular and religious, and that instruction made pleasant and enticing, complete the rapid sketch of the moral agents which M. Lepelletier would use for the regeneration of his convicts.
After liberation, he would both institute patronage, and do away entirely with the surveillance of the high police, which we have seen M. Bonneville still hold by. This surveillance, and the award of “ degrading" punishments, he sets down as the causes of the increasing number of recommittals, by the “ signalement” which they give to all the world that such and such a man has been condemned ; the consequence being the natural reScale of Punishments.
1 The basis of all true prison discipline is WORK, remunerating and self-supporting. The tread-wheel, labour-machines (which do nothing but fatigue the prisoner),—all work that is punitive only, and not productive, is worse than useless; but all work that has an object, is the most valuable agent the prison reformer has. In this the French are before us. They have more varied, more amusing, more interesting and intelligent labour among their convicts than we. Intelligent and remunerative labour was the secret of Captain Maconochie's successful management of the Norfolk Island convicts. While unremunerative and simply punitive labour occasions "malingering,” insubordination, mental depression, and physical sickness, work that has an object and a reward with it, will keep in good order and good condition the most refractory and the least robust of the whole establishment. This experiment has been tried again and again, and never varied in its results; yet still simply punitive labour is the rule of our county prisons, and still the cry goes on against self-supporting prisons, as interfering with the rights of free labour.
pulsion of every honest man to employ or associate with any one thus “fletri.” A “ solemn, judicial, and public rehabilitation,” after the expiry of his sentence—not after a period of probation, as formerly, but immediately on the fulfilment of his sentence— our author demands, as the justice which vindicated law and satisfied society owe to the convict who has paid his debt. Holding crime in the same rank as disease, he would have punishment curative; and when the cure was effected he would throw off all the trappings and appurtenances of the disease. His punishments would be "just, proportioned, equal to all, prompt, certain, immediate, exemplary, expiatory, moralising, never degrading, and finally leading to the regeneration and rehabilitation of the condemned." So that all continuous action of punishment, like the peines infamantes, carrying the effects of a sentence beyond the term of that sentence, he would abolish as both demoralising and illogical ; in which view he is assuredly borne out by facts as well as by reasoning. His scale of punishments he graduates thus :
1. Irons and travaux forcés for life for regicides and parricides, with the infliction of the double chain ; that is, “ if the generosity of the legislature is so sublime as to deliver them from the last punishment” (death). These, too, are to be isolated, apart from all the rest. For every other crime irons are to be only from five to twenty years ; recommittals to have that time doubled.
2. The penal colony (séclusion), from five to ten years. Irons to be used here only in cases of repression.
3. The agricultural colony for young offenders, and for adults on the way of reformation, who have been already proved in other establishments. For the young, up to their 20th year ; for adults, from three to five years.
4. The correctional prison, with less real punishment, and more liberty than the others; from a month to five years.
5. Legal reparation, including monetary restitution and public apology in cases of insult, etc.
6. Privation of political, civil, or family rights; from two to ten years.
7. Lock-up houses (les maisons d'arrêt); from five days to a month.
7. Fines, from 1 fr. to 200 fr.
This, we think, closes the practical suggestions of M. Lepelletier's book; in which it is easy to see a totally different spirit, though with the same end in view as his predecessor, M. Bonneville. The one, overflowing with pity for fallen humanity, would carry his philanthropy almost into Hattery, if thereby he could gain converts; the other, treating crime as a disease, yet sometimes retains flashes of the old punitive school, as in his irons for life and isolation for the parricide, and in his meaningless and valueless short term sentences. But both—writing at such a long interval one from the other, during which, too, so much has been said and written and attempted in other countries, if not in France, for the moralisation of the criminal classes, both show what a lamentable state the question still is in, and how little real advance has been made towards its satisfactory arrangement. Our own costly and fatal Model Prisons; the even more fatal and more costly experiment of Guiana; the failure of the Maisons Centrales; the awful state of our Convict Colonies; the unsatisfactory working of the Ticket-of-Leave System; the unsatisfactory result generally of the Punitive System here and in France,—all ought to have opened the eyes of men in authority, long ere this, to the value of the only rational principles on which punishment can be based, namely, self-support, and the enlisting of each criminal's efforts in the working out of his own reformation. In vain have Captain Maconochie, Mr Hill, and Mr Pearson, spoken and written and acted and proved;—in vain have the glorious lessons of success been read from the various reformatories for youthful offenders, undertaken by private benevolence ;—the old principles are retained in all new State undertakings, and men are still punished merely for the sake of punishment, while no rational efforts are made for their reformation. Still, too, are prisons regulated on military rules, which are just the reverse of those which make a man independent, self-supporting, and self-reliant; and prison special discipline is still regarded as the most important thing to be maintained, without reference to the future life outside.
The truth is, men are afraid of any sweeping reform; and without a sweeping reform, including not only the internal discipline of the prison, but the whole system of criminal jurisprudence, not much good will be done. And further off-beyond the proximate causes of crime, striking down to the material condition of the poor, to their intellectual advancement and their moral training-must the real criminal reformer carry his reform. Still
, the question is stirring both here and in France; and, though not to any solid utility as yet, it is nevertheless active, present to men’s minds, and not forgotten in their deeds. In time, after painful failures and weary gropings in the dark, we must come out into the light of truth and common sense. No human question can go backward; it must eventually progress. So that, saddened as we may be by the long list of mistakes and failures which meet us everywhere in the past and present, we may yet continue to hope for the ultimate establishment, in the future, of the best and truest systems in sociology as well as in the physical sciences.
Art. IV.–1. A Glance at the Interior of China, Obtained during
a Journey through the Silk and Green Tea Countries. By
W. H. MEDHURST, D.D. London: Snow, 1850. 2. A Residence among the Chinese : Inland, on the Coast, and at
Sea. By ROBERT FORTUNE, Honorary Member of the Agri-Hort. Society of India, Author of “ Three Years'
Wanderings in China,” etc. London : Murray, 1857. ABOUT the end of 1813, a young man, plainly dressed, but of thoughtful and earnest look, entered the Sabbath school-rooms of Southgate Congregational Chapel, Gloucester, and said to one of the teachers, “ Have you anything to do for me here? I want to teach some children.” He gave his name as Walter Henry Medhurst. Born in London in 1796, Medhurst had been taken to Gloucester when fourteen years of age, and apprenticed to a printer. For some time he seems to have led a somewhat thoughtless life: theatre-going, and other profitless, if not pernicious amusements, engrossed all his spare time. At the request of a brother, he had agreed to spend one Sabbath evening in Southgate chapel. The text for the evening was, “A brand plucked from the burning;” and, during the discourse, one thought and another of his own likeness to the earnest preacher's vivid descriptions of character, laid their firm grasp on young Medhurst's soul. A time of spiritual crisis had come unsought for. The power of the higher life had entered the youth's heart, and his strong will was enlisted on the side of good against evil
. The earnest question in the Sabbath school, “ Have you anything for me to do here?” finds its explanation in the presence of the new life in the soul of the printer's lad. Medhurst could not long continue idle. The thought of a life-time of earnest work had been before him in the years of his folly, and the same thought passed with him over the threshold into the kingdom of God. There was much deep moral and spiritual darkness prevailing in many of the villages around Gloucester. There was work which he thought might be attempted by him; and, with characteristic earnestness and zeal, he set about doing it “ with his might.” In some small Congregational chapel, in some mean cottage, or, in summer, by the wayside, and under the shadow of the hedgerow trees, 'he discoursed, to the rude company that gathered around him, of those grand truths which had thrown their living power over his own soul, and set him apart for work in behalf of others. He had learned what Lord Bacon calls “the real end and use of all knowledge—the dedication of that reason
which is given us by God to the use and advantage of man.”
While he laboured at " whatsoever his hand found to do " printing diligently on week days, and preaching as diligently on Sabbath—the stirring letters of Morrison and Milne, the Chinese missionaries, inoculated him with the strong desire to devote himself to the work of God in the East. An opportunity soon presented itself. His
fell an advertisement by the directors of the London Missionary Society for a printer, to be associated with the Malacca Mission. Medhurst offered, and was accepted. His love of preaching went with him to the Malayan Archipelago, and he was very soon as earnestly engaged in it as he was with his printing press. The sagacious Milne soon saw that they had among them a man full of the Holy Ghost and of wisdom-one who had been called to the ministry by the great Head of the Church Himself; and, in 1819, the printer's apprentice was ordained by Milne to the work of the ministry.
Medhurst laboured with great zeal for twenty-two years in Batavia ; and when Shanghae was opened to foreigners in 1842, he was appointed to that station, where he continued till September last year, when, wasted but not weary, enfeebled in body but strong in spirit, he left it, in the hope of meeting health on the sea, or amid the green fields around his beloved Gloucester. But he returned to die. He landed on the 22d of January, and on the 24th of the same month his soul quietly passed from the enfeebled body into the presence of Him who was waiting with the welcome, « Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Medhurst may be regarded as another in that long and noble list of self-educated men, which, in our day, has had so many great names added to it; and as another illustration, among many, of the fact that, notwithstanding what foreigners call“ the exclusive caste-characteristics of English society," there is no country in the world in which devotion to some great principle, and absorbing earnestness in realizing some grand design, are so sure to lead to name and fame as in Britain. When the printer's lad left the workshop in Gloucester, he had received but a meagre education; yet, before he had spent many years in missionary work, he had become the most eminent Chinese scholar of his day: he had made great attainments in the knowledge of the Javanese and Malayan languages, and was an able Latin, Greek, and Hebrew scholar.
In 1845, Dr Medhurst went on a journey through the silk and green tea countries, and he has left us a record of this in the book which stands at the head of this article—“A Glance at the Interior of China.” Some gleanings from this book will give