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employé, are also comprised within the outer wall and cultivated by the prisoners.

Without seeing it, one could hardly imagine what an immense fitting up and expenditure are necessary for lodging and giving occupation to some 1,400 prisoners. Surely the State never would have undertaken this immense expenditure, had it not found at Clairvaux, St. Michel, and elsewhere, ready-made buildings of old abbeys. And it never would have organised so wide a system of productive work, had it not attracted private undertakers by renting to them the prisoners' labour at a very low price, to the disadvantage of free private industry. And still, the current expenses of the State for keeping up the Clairvaux prison and the like must be very heavy. A numerous and costly administration, seventy warders, nourished, lodged, and paid from 45l. to 56l. per year, and a company of soldiers which are kept at Clairvaux, bear hard on the budget-not to speak of the expenses of the central administration, the transport of prisoners, the infirmary, and so on. It is obvious that the abovementioned percentage, raised on the salaries of the prisoners, which does not exceed an average of 7d. per day and per head of employed men, falls very short of defraying all these heavy expenses.

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Leaving aside the political prisoners who are occasionally sent thither, there are at Clairvaux two different categories of inmates. The great number are common-law prisoners condemned to more than one year of imprisonment but not to hard labour (these last being transported to New Caledonia); and there are, besides, a few dozen of soldiers condemned by martial courts-the so-called détentionnaires. These last are a sad product of our system of militarism. A soldier who has assaulted his corporal, or officer, is usually condemned to death; but if he has been provoked-which is mostly the case the penalty is commuted into a twenty years' imprisonment, and he is sent to Clairvaux. I cannot explain how it happens, but there are détentionnaires who have to undergo two or three like condemnations-probably for assaults committed during their imprisonment. There was much talk, during our stay at Clairvaux, of a man, about forty years old, who had cumulated an aggregate penalty reaching sixty-five years of imprisonment; he could fulfil his sentence only if he could prolong his life beyond his hundredth year. On the 14th of July, twenty-five years of his term were taken off by a decree of the President of the Republic; but still the man had some forty years more to remain imprisoned. It may seem incredible, but it is true.

Everybody recognises the absurdity of such condemnations, and therefore the détentionnaires are not submitted to the usual regimen of the common-law prisoners. They are not constrained to compulsory labour, and they enter a workshop only if they like. They wear a better grey dress than other prisoners, and are permitted to take

wine at the canteen. Those who do not go to the workshops occupy a separate quarter, and spend years and years in doing absolutely nothing. It is easy to conceive what some thirty soldiers, who have spent several years in barracks, may do when they are locked up for twenty years or so in a prison, and have no occupation of any kind, either intellectual or physical. Their quarter has so bad a reputation that the rains of brimstone which destroyed the two Biblical towns are invoked upon it by the administration.

As to the common-law prisoners, they are submitted to a regimen of compulsory labour, and of absolute silence. This last, however, is so adverse to human nature that it has in fact been given up. It is simply impossible to prevent people from speaking when at work in the workshops; and, without trebling the number of warders and resorting to ferocious punishments, it is not easy to prevent prisoners from exchanging words during the hours of rest, or from chattering in dormitories. During our stay at Clairvaux we saw the system abandoned more and more, and I suppose that the watchword is now merely to prohibit loud speaking and quarrels.

Early in the morning-at five in the summer, and at six in the winter-a bell rings. The prisoners must immediately rise, roll up their beds, and descend into the yards, where they stand in ranks, the men of each workshop separately under the command of a warder. On his order, they march in Indian file, at a slow pace, towards their respective workshops, the warder loudly crying out, un, deux! un, deux! and the heavy wooden shoes answering in cadence to the word of command. A few minutes later, the steam-engines sound their call, and the machines run at full speed. At nine (half-past eight in the summer) the work is stopped for an hour, and the prisoners are marched to the refectories. There they are seated on benches, all faces turned in one direction, so as to see only the backs of the men on the next bench, and they take their breakfast. At ten they return to the workshops, and the work is interrupted only at twelve, for ten minutes, and at half-past two, when all men less than thirty-five years old, and having received no instruction, are sent for an hour to the school.

At four the prisoners go to take their dinner; it lasts for halfan-hour, and a walk in the yards follows. The same Indian files are made up, and they slowly march in a circle, the warder always crying his cadenced un, deux! They call that faire la queue de saucissons. At five the work begins again and lasts until eight in the winter, and until nightfall during the other seasons.

As soon as the machinery is stopped--which is done at six, or even earlier in September or March-the prisoners are locked up in the dormitories. There they must lie in their beds from half-past six until six the next morning, and I suppose that these hours of enforced rest must be the most painful hours of the day. Certainly, they are permitted to read in their beds until nine, but the permission

is effective only for those whose beds are close to the gas-burners. At nine the lights are diminished. During the night each dormitory remains under the supervision of prévôts who are nominated from among the prisoners and who have the more red lace on their sleeves, as they are the more assiduous in spying and denouncing their comrades.

On Sundays the work is suspended. The prisoners spend the day in the yards, if the weather permits, or in the workshops, where they may read, or talk-but not too loud-or in the school-rooms, where they write letters. A band composed of some thirty prisoners plays in the yard, and for half-an-hour goes out of the interior walls to play in the cour d'honneur-a yard occupied by the lodgings of the administration-while the fire-brigade takes some exercise. At six all must be in their beds.

Besides the men who are at work in the workshops, there is also a brigade extérieure, the men of which do various work outside the prison proper, but still within its outer wall-such as repairs, painting, sawing wood, and so on. They also cultivate the orchards of the house and those of the warders, for salaries reaching but a few pence per day. Some of them are also sent to the forest for cutting wood, cleaning a canal, and so on. No escape is to be feared, because only such men are admitted to the exterior brigade as have but one or two months more to remain at Clairvaux.

Such is the regular life of the prison-a life running for years without the least modification, and which acts depressingly on man by its monotony and its want of impressions—a life which a man can endure for years, but which he cannot endure-if he has no aim beyond this life itself without being depressed and reduced to the state of a machine which obeys, but has no will of its owna life which results in an atrophy of the best qualities of man and a development of the worst of them, and, if much prolonged, renders him quite unfit to live afterwards in a society of free fellowcreatures.

As to us, the politicals,' we had a special regimen—namely, that of prisoners submitted to preventive incarceration. We kept our own dress; we were not compelled to be shaved, and we could smoke. We occupied three spacious rooms, with a separate small room for myself, and had a little garden, some fifty yards long and ten yards wide, where we did some gardening on a narrow strip of earth along the wall, and could appreciate, from our own experience, the benefits of an intensive culture.' One would suspect me of exaggeration if I enumerated all crops of vegetables we made in our kitchen-garden, less than fifty square yards. No compulsory work was imposed upon us; and my comrades-all workmen who had left at home their families without support-never could obtain any regular employment. They tried to sew ladies' stays for an undertaker of Clairvaux, but soon abandoned the work, seeing that with the deduction of three

tenths of their salaries for the State they could not earn more than from three to four pence a day. They gladly accepted the work in pearl-shell, although it was paid but a little better than the former, but the orders came only occasionally, for a few days. Over-production had occasioned stagnation in this trade, and other work could not be done in our rooms, while any intercourse with the common-law prisoners was severely prohibited.

Reading and the study of languages were thus the chief occupations of my comrades. A workman can study only when he has the chance of being imprisoned-and they studied earnestly. The study of languages was very successful, and I was glad to find at Clairvaux a practical proof of what I formerly maintained on theoretical grounds— namely, that the Russians are not the only people who easily learn foreign languages. My French comrades learned, with great ease, English, German, Italian, and Spanish; some of them mastered two languages during a two years' stay at Clairvaux. Bookbinding was among us the most beloved occupation. Some instruments were made out of pieces of iron and wood, heavy stones and small carpenters' presses were resorted to; and as we finally obtained-about the end of the second year-some tools worth this name, all learned bookbinding with the facility with which an intelligent workman learns a new profession, and most of us reached a great perfection in the art.

A special warder was always kept in our quarter, and as soon as some of us were in the yard, he regularly took his seat on the steps at the door. In the night we were locked up under at least six or seven locks, and, moreover, a round of warders passed each two hours, and approached each bed in order to ascertain that nobody had vanished. A rigorous supervision, never relaxed, and maintained by the mutual help of all warders, is exercised on the prisoners as soon as they have left the dormitories. During the last two years I met with my wife in a little room within the walls, and, together with some one of our sick comrades, we took a walk in the solitary little garden of the Director, or in the great orchard of the prison; and never during these two years was I left out of sight of the warder who accompanied us, for so much as five minutes.

No newspapers penetrated into our rooms, excepting scientific periodicals or illustrated weekly papers. Only in the second year of our imprisonment were we permitted to receive a halfpenny colourless daily paper, and a Governmental paper published at Lyons. No socialist literature was admitted, and I could not introduce even a book of my own authorship dealing with socialist literature. As to writing, the most severe control was exercised on the manuscripts I intended to send out of the prison. Nothing dealing with social questions, and still less with Russian affairs, was permitted to issue from the prison-walls. The common-law prisoners are permitted to write letters only once a month, and only to their nearest rela

tives. As to us, we could correspond with friends as much as we liked, but all letters sent or received were submitted to a severe censorship, which was the cause of repeated conflicts with the administration.

The food of the prisoners is, in my opinion, quite insufficient. The daily allowance consists chiefly of bread, 850 grammes per day (one pound and nine-tenths). It is grey, but very good, and if a prisoner complains of having not enough of it, one loaf, or two, per week are added to the above. The breakfast consists of a soup which is made with a few vegetables, water, and American lard--this last very often rancid and bitter. At dinner the same soup is given, and a plate of two ounces of kidney-beans, rice, lentils, or potatoes is added. Twice a week the soup is made with meat, and then it is served only at breakfast, two ounces of boiled meat being given instead of it at dinner. The men are thus compelled to purchase additional food at the canteen, where they have, for very honest prices varying from three-farthings to twopence, small rations of cheese, or sausage, pork-meat, and sometimes tripe, as also milk, and small rations of figs, jams, or fruits in the summer. Without this supplementary food the men obviously could not maintain their strength; but many of them, and especially old people, earn so little that, after deducting the percentage money raised by the State, they cannot spend at the canteen even twopence per day. I really wonder how they manage to keep body and soul together.

Two different kinds of work are made by the prisoners at Clairvaux. Some of them are employed, by the State, either in its manufactures of linen, cloth, and dress for the prisoners, or in various capacities in the house itself (joiners, painters, man-nurses in the infirmary, accountants, &c.). They are mostly paid from 8d. to 10d. a day. Many, however, are employed in the above-mentioned workshops by private undertakers. Their salaries, established by the Chambre de Commerce at Troyes, vary very much, and are mostly very low, especially in those trades where no safe scale of salaries can be established on account of the great variety of patterns fabricated and of the great subdivision of labour. Very many men earn but from 6d. to 8d. per day; and it is only in the iron bed manufacture that the salaries reach 1s. 8d. and occasionally more; while I found that the average salaries of 125 men employed in various capacities reached only 11d. (1 franc 17 centimes) per day. This figure is, however, perhaps above the average, there being a great number of prisoners who earn but 7d. or even 5d., especially in the workshop for the fabrication of socks, where old people are sent to die from the dust and exhaustion.

Several reasons might be adduced as an apology for these small salaries; the low quality of prison-work, the fluctuations of trade, and several other considerations ought no doubt to be taken into account.

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