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A DANGEROUS PRISONER.
victor. The prison discipline had to succumb.
The deportment of this man in church and at Bible-class, has of late been so quiet as to convey the impression to those who do not know him, that he has forgotten the past, and intends to behave himself for the future.
“Well, M'Chow are you getting on? How do you feel to-day?” “Oh, very well, thank you, sir,”—with a curious
I knew he had often threatened to have his revenge, that “ blood would be shed,” and hoping his exasperated feelings had cooled down, I approached him in private, and said, “Well, M'C- I hope you have no bad feelings now, that you have driven that nasty black dog off your back."
He replied with a shrug and a sneer, and a smile on his large white face,-like a moonbeam on a field of snow,-“Oh, of course, sir.”
Come, I don't like the way you say that. I fear you entertain bad feelings still.”
AN ARGUMENT AGAINST FLOGGING.
“Do you know, sir,” he replied with greater sobriety and seriousness than was usual with him, " that I was in this prison before ?"
“I did not know it."
“Well, I was, sir,-five or six years ago, and they flogged me then. I have the marks of the lash on my body. When they wear out, I shall forget and forgive it.”
There is one wise reason for not flogging a prisoner. The marks of the lash, which never wear out, disqualify him from entering the army, which contains many well-conducted convicts.
A prisoner may be punished in various ways. By stopping his supper, by confining him in the punishment cells, by taking away some of his marks, or by reducing his classification, which is considered one of the severest punishments, as it takes away a part of the time that would have been deducted from his term of imprisonment. He must therefore begin to roll the stone up the hill again, with the knowledge that liberty is
PRISONERS IN TROUBLE.
pushed back for months. A punishment of this kind sometimes renders a man reckless. It is some time before he gets on his good behaviour again.
The prisoners who get into punishment cells, or, as they style it, “into trouble," are most frequently, as a general rule, men of a low order of intellect. But there are exceptions to this rule. A remarkable instance was that of a fine English lad, a native of Bristol. His answering at Bible-class often astonished me. His clear scriptural views, and his ability in answering almost any question, were worthy of a bishop and logician. He invariably put his finger on the right place. But M— could not keep a civil tongue in his head for the warders. He despised them and their punishments. He went on in this way from bad to worse, until he was placed in the penal gang, heavily chained from wrist to ancle, dressed in black frieze, with a horrible masked cap containing two holes for the eyes. It often thrilled my nerves to
A CONVICT IN THE CELLS.
hear the clanking of his chains as he came into church, guarded by a warder. I could not have felt more for him if he had been my own son, and I believe he knew it. I entreated him one day, with tears in my eyes, to change his line of conduct, and get out of that horrible penal gang, that looked as like a company of damned spirits as could well be. He raised the mask off his cap, and, with a sweet smile, assured me he did “not mind it;" that he was not ambitious of “a good prison character.”
Shortly after this he got himself into punishment cells, where he was on bread and water for a week or ten days.
There he seemed perfectly content. He always met me with a smile, was quite well,” and wanted "nothing.” He seemed as independent
« in his cell as Diogenes in his tub; but treated
with far more courtesy than the cynic philosopher treated Alexander the Great. “Now, M--" I said, addressing him
, when he came out, “I know you deliberately
CALCULATION UNDER DIFFICULTIES.
committed yourself in order to get into the cells. Why did you do it ?”
He smiled, as he replied, “ I left a book behind me the last time I was there—a book of difficult calculations—and there were some of them I had not mastered, and so I went back to them again.”
“ Where did you put the book," I inquired, knowing that such a book would not be allowed to a prisoner undergoing cellular punishment; and also knowing that the cell contained no furni. ture during the day but a small round boss, or footstool, on which the prisoner sits.
“I had it hid in the heart of the boss."
“I took my chance.”
“But how did you work out your calculations without pen and ink, or slate and pencil ?”
? “I did them on the whitewash of the wall, with a pin.”