Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

58

ON BOARD THE " SCOURGE."

lifted his cap, and asked me to go below, and he would show me my quarters.

“The principal cabin is very handsome, divided into two rooms, of which the one farthest aft is to be occupied by me as a sleeping cabin. It has couches, chairs, and a table, and is lighted by all the stern windows. During the day, both rooms are to be open to me,—and the captain said, that as he is obliged to consider me a prisoner, there will be a marine always stationed at the foot of the companion ladder, and that whenever I desire to go upon deck-which I may do when I please, I am to inform the sentry, who will summon the sergeant. That, for the rest, he hoped his hours would suit me, when breakfast, dinner, and so forth, will be served in the chief cabin.

" He is a quiet, saturnine, bilious, thin man, of about fifty, with a very low voice. Not at all a bluff seaman, or a jolly tar, or the like; yet, I dare say, an excellent officer, and will execute his orders.”

We shall take up and continue John Mitchel's

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

history, and avail ourselves of his experience when we visit Bermuda. For the present we shall

say, au revoir.

[blocks in formation]

English convicts pass through two prisons, a separate or cellular, and a working prison. The majority of Irish convicts pass through a third prison, if it be correct to call it such. It is styled an intermediate prison. In this, and police supervision—to which we shall refer by-and-by, consists the distinction between the English and Irish convict systems.

An intermediate prison was opened at Camden

INTERMEDIATE PRISONS.

61

Fort in Cork Harbour as early as January, 1856, and a sort of semi-intermediate prison at Fort Carlisle soon after.

Fort Carlisle ceased to be an intermediate

prison 31st December, 1857, and Fort Camden 29th June, 1861.

They were both short-lived. I helped to rock the cradles of these innocents, and was present at

their funerals.

I cannot say that I ever saw much difference between the intermediate prisoners at the Forts, and the well-conducted convicts on Spike Island. The intermediates seemed to enjoy their pleasant pipes and tobacco amazingly. If I were required to mark the distinction in logical phraseology between the prisoners of Camden and Spike Island, I should call the former smoking convicts and the latter the hard-working convicts.

The difference in discipline between the two prisons was scarcely perceptible.

Perhaps that of the intermediate prison was a little more relaxed.

62

SIR WALTER CROFTON'S VIEWS.

Sir Walter Crofton imagined nice and even important distinctions that never existed but in his own mind.

The first consideration with Sir Walter Crofton

in the establishment of an intermediate prison was to propitiate the public to employ convicts after their discharge.

“ The exhibition and labour and training of a convict in a more natural form before his liberation, than is practicable in ordinary prisons, is a course obviously calculated to induce the public to assist in his absorption, and thereby to diminish the difficulty of the convict question.”

We do not like the word exhibition, and must be propitiated, in connexion with the employment of convicts by the public.

We should not display greater anxiety about the disposal of our convicts, than about their improvement. What are

we to do with our convicts ? is not, after all, the most important question. How are we to make honest men out of rogues and

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »