Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

88

A CONVICT'S OPINION OF LUSK.

liberated from Spike Island; and I think the next
returns will shew that the percentage of re-convic-
tions on those liberated from Spike, are, at least,
not greater than on those who have had what is
called “the advantages of an intermediate
prison.
Of these “advantages,'

“advantages,” the prisoners are thoroughly sensible, as appears from their letters to each other.

[ocr errors]

A prisoner at Lusk writes to a prisoner at

a Spike:

[ocr errors][merged small]

“DEAR JAMES,-

“I promised to write to you as soon as I should be settled in Smithfield, or Lusk, as the case may be. As I am now just two months out of Spike, I have had full time to arrange my thoughts.

"Lusk is a place just suited to a man like you, who is already inured to the field, though on an improved scale, or rather a refined one. As for

I like the place well. I feel myself getting on

AMUSEMENT FOR LEISURE HOURS.

89

capital since I left Smithfield, a place that I but half relished, on account of the confinement, and other circumstances, which I but half agree

with.

“I strongly recommend you to keep on the same steady course, which, I may say, you have hitherto followed, and when March, or early in April, comes, and you come in that batch, you will find your condition very much ameliorated.

“Dear James, I will not ask you how you passed last Christmas, for I know too much of the way a day of that sort is spent in Spike Island. I, for my part, spent a very pleasant one; and I only hope I may never spend a worse one.

“James, among the many advantages which you will enjoy, when you come down to Lusk, is a good library, at which you can spend your leisure hours very agreeably. We also get the news of the day, though on a limited scale."

This letter is written on the Irish farm, called a prison, which is now held up as a model for imi

90

THE MODEL PRISON.

tation to England, and held up as a model by men who are assailing England for her over-indulgence of prisoners. If people would only take the trouble of informing themselves, before they give an opinion.

The dietary scale of this prison, which we have given elsewhere, is the best prison dietary in the United Kingdom, notwithstanding all that has been said of the prisoners buying bread with a portion of their gratuity money. Perhaps the bread was hot rolls,

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

was chosen as an intermediate prison, on account of the facilities it presents for tempting the prisoners. This may be all true, though I did not see a rath or fairy ring there.

I am not well read up in the history of “Demonology and Witchcraft,” but I believe the devil and his emissaries choose wild and barren heaths for their most fearful temptations.

92

WARLOCKS IN WILD PLACES.

[ocr errors]

Shakspeare, who is a good authority on such a subject, begins his tragedy of Macbeth in "an open place,” amid thunder and lightning.Enter three witches. “ When shall we three meet again? in thunder, lightning, or in rain ?” _“When the

. hurly-burly's done; when the battle's lost and won.”—The place of meeting was heath." The Witch of Fife, in the Queen's Wake, boasts

"upon the

“And aye we dancit on the green Lomond,

Till the dawn on the ocean grew;
Ne wonder I was a weary wycht,

Quhan I cam hame to you.”

The

reader will bear in

in mind it was

in crossing a mountain stream, at the Brig of Ayr, that Tam O'Shanter's famous mare lost her tail :

A warlock catched her by the rump,

And left poor Maggie scarce a stump.”

[ocr errors]

We have visited the prison on Lusk Common, but have not been able to discover any facilities for temptation of a worldly or a fleshly kind. There

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »