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ments on account of declining health, and spent a portion of his time in the country. His constitution was never robust, and he began to show marks of age at a somewhat early period. In 1827 he resigned the appointment of Surgeon to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, under circumstances highly characteristic of his disinterestedness and sense of fairness to his juniors. On his appointment in 1815, after a service of twenty-eight years in the subordinate and unremunerated capacity of AssistantSurgeon, he had expressed his opinion to the Governors, that it was not to the advantage of the institution for a Surgeon to retain the office after the age of sixty. When that time arrived, although his enjoyment of the advantages of the surgeoncy had been short in comparison with his earlier labours, and although he might have followed the precedents of his predecessors and contemporaries, he resolved to illustrate his own precept, and retire; a resolution which the remonstrances of the Governors could only postpone one year. In May, 1829, he retired from the office of Examiner at the College of Surgeons, on which occasion a Memorial was entered in the Minutes of the Court, signed by the leading Surgeons of the day, eulogizing in high terms his scientific labours, and attributing much of the recent advancement of the healing art to his writings. The latter part of his life was spent at his house at Enfield, where, after a prolonged period of declining strength, he expired, April 20th, 1831.

The two works on which we have founded these remarks, cannot, we think, be considered as satisfactory biographies of the eminent men whom they endeavour to portray. They are both remarkably deficient in that literary workmanship, without which few writings will long continue to be read. It will be obvious to most readers, that the biographers have turned aside for a while from more accustomed engagements, to tasks much less congenial, though in both cases a labour of love. The lamented Bransby Cooper has performed his part in a manner which manifests his affection and regard to the memory of his illustrious uncle, but at the same time shows that the pen was not the best instrument that could be put into his hands. In addition to being too long, the work wants proportion in its parts; details of little importance are dwelt upon far beyond their relative value, to the exclusion of topics more attractive; and we look in vain for the clear narration, the keen discrimination of character, and the artistic treatment of light and shade, without which no man can succeed as a biographer. These volumes have answered well enough to satisfy the immediate interest which Sir Astley's death excited; but something more classical is now required,-something which will give another generation a just estimate of the man. We are happy to find

The Prisons of the Continent.


that a Life of the great Surgeon is promised from the pen of Mr. Samuel Warren, whose well known talents and early professional associations render him peculiarly competent to the task. We trust the pledge given will be speedily redeemed, and doubt not that the work will gain fresh laurels for the writer, while it will form a pleasing tribute to the profession with which his early years of promise were connected.

Mr. Macilwain has been unable to forget himself from the beginning to the end of his two volumes. His own peculiar views are intruded upon the reader to a tiresome extent. He appears to consider himself born to elucidate and complete Abernethy's doctrines, and almost buries his text beneath his commentary. Notwithstanding this unhappy egotism, and the exceeding want of arrangement perceptible throughout, the subject itself, as well as the incidental discussions, are so interesting, that we can promise our readers much gratification from a perusal of the volumes. We would simply advise them that the pettishness and assumed tone of unrecognised merit which they will perceive, is due to Mr. Macilwain's idiosyncrasy, and are not necessarily found in a medical biographer.

ART. III.-Revue de Législation et de Jurisprudence. Nouvelle Série. Rédigée par M. L. WOLOWSKI et autres. Paris, 1845–54.

THE management of the prisons, in every country in the world, is good or evil, almost without exception, in proportion to its liberty. England, Switzerland, and the United States stand first in their constant and successful endeavours to resolve this most vexed of economical questions. They are closely followed by Holland and Belgium. France, as in every other of her political institutions, talks, writes, argues with supreme ability; but never can persuade herself to make a decisive movement,always fearful of acting on her own intimate convictions, from the dread of some fancied insecurity. The German States— theorists in every thing-exhibit scattered instances of improved prison management, in which is visible the real benevolence of the German character, whose efforts are weakened, thwarted, and localized by the apprehensions of enfeebled and timid Governments. Spain, Italy, Russia, Austria, have done about as much as they might be expected to do.

In this country, we have long studied the prison institutions of the United States. Those of the Continent of Europe are imperfectly known to us; yet their experiences are not only highly interesting, but contain many results of extreme value.

Switzerland, as we have said, stands, in this respect, at the head of the Continent. Not that her prison administration is

by any means faultless: the small Cantons, trim, close corporations, have resisted all change; and their prisons are just what they were a century ago. The offices connected with the prisons are amongst the few morsels of patronage at the disposal of these petty Governments; and, both from interest and prejudice, they resist all change. They have, besides, no money to spend; and the extreme smallness of the population prevents all classification of the prisoners, and all management on an enlarged scale. On the other hand, the three great towns of Geneva, Lausanne, and Berne, have attempted the penitentiary system of imprisonment, with a zeal and discernment which place their prisons almost at the head of all criminal establishments. The moderate number of their population has, it is true, facilitated their arrangements. Large enough to admit of classification, it is not so large as to make that classification either too expensive, or too uncertain.

Yet, even here, a portion of the old leaven remains, and vitiates the system. Every traveller whom the scenery of the Oberland calls through Berne, will have witnessed the disagreeable procession of ill-looking men and women in prison dresses, and accompanied by a couple of officers, with rifles, pistols, and cutlasses, who saunter in the evening along the road of the beautiful environs of the old town. These are persons

condemned for small offences, who are sent during the day to work in the roads or in the fields. They are, of course, unconfined in their limbs, to enable them to work; but the least appearance of an attempt to escape is followed by a bullet from the rifle of their vigilant guardians, who are chosen for their skill in the practice of the national weapon. With all this, they often run away, and forthwith become necessarily confirmed depredators. The spectacle injures the moral feelings of the inhabitants, and ruins the unfortunate culprits, who, condemned to out-of-door work, on account of the smallness of their offence, are nevertheless exposed to the gaze of the whole world, and lose for ever both character and sense of shame. For a century, travellers and statesmen have reprobated this mode of treating criminals, which continues, notwithstanding, to the present hour; so inveterate is the force of habit. It becomes all the more absurd, by the side of the really admirable mode of treating the more depraved class of criminals, adopted in the same town. But as the Berne penitentiary is, in some respects, inferior to that of Geneva, we give a description of the latter, as the best example of Swiss prison institutions.

In the penitentiary at Geneva, the prisoners are divided into four classes. In the first are those condemned to the travaux forcés, and those condemned to simple seclusion, who, from the nature and circumstances of their crime, deserve the severest punishment. It includes, likewise, relapsed criminals, and

Treatment of Prisoners at Geneva.


those who, originally condemned to a minor punishment, deserve a greater by their conduct in prison.

In the second class are included all others who are condemned for criminal offences, and those who are condemned correctionally under aggravated circumstances. It contains, likewise, prisoners, originally of the first class, who by their good conduct have deserved a mitigation, and those of the third who by their bad conduct have deserved an aggravation, of punishment.

The third class contains those condemned correctionally who are not placed in the second, and prisoners from the second and fourth who, as before, have deserved mitigation or aggravation of punishment.

The fourth contains all those who are under sixteen, and those from sixteen to eighteen who appear to deserve a milder punishment, or promotion from the other classes.

This system contains within itself means of reward and punishment, which admit, under good management, every opportunity of repression. Solitary confinement, in its strictest sense, is occasionally inflicted in cases of extreme insubordination.

The prisoners of the first class take their meals in their cells, to which they are confined during the hours not devoted to labour, excepting for one hour on week-days, and three on Sundays and féte-days, when they are promenaded in the courts of the prison for open-air exercise. They are allowed to receive visits once only every two months, and can only correspond with their friends with the direct permission of the Director, and under his inspection. A fourth only of the produce of their labour is allowed them, by way of pocket-money, though they may dispose of a part of the rest for the support of relatives depending upon them, or for writing materials. In general the prisoner is allowed to choose his own work; but the prisoners of this class are restricted in their choice, and forbidden many kinds of work allowed to the rest.

The prisoners of the second class take their meals together in the refectory. They are allowed a longer time in the open air; and can receive visits from their friends every six weeks.

The prisoners of the third class are not confined necessarily to their cells during any of the hours of recreation: these they may spend either in the court or the refectory, according to the orders of the Director. They have the right of spending onefourth of the produce of their labour in improving their prison fare, and also a right to one visit in the month.

The principal privilege of the fourth class would appear rather bizarre, were it not known how great a value those condemned to silence set on a single word. They are permitted to speak with the turnkey who superintends them. It is to be hoped

that the conversational powers of this class of men are of a higher order than those of turnkeys elsewhere, and that they are sufficiently sensible of the importance of their words to deal them out a little less gruffly than the generality of their brethren. In every other case, silence is strictly enforced throughout the prison. The fourth class have likewise the privilege of working in the prison garden.

These classes offer, as we have seen, a very simple means of reward and punishment. In extreme cases the prisoner is not merely confined to his cell, but that cell is darkened by a contrivance which excludes the light without excluding the air. Sometimes, instead of darkness, the prisoner is condemned to a bread and water diet. The Governor arranges these last punishments according to the effect they are likely to have, from the temper of the prisoner. Notwithstanding the silence and the labour of the general rooms, where the prisoners spend together their working hours, the solitary confinement, though with light and without work, is supremely dreaded. The time of its infliction varies from one month to three, for the first class; and from three days to fifteen, for the others. For half of this time the prisoner is prohibited from work; for the other half, he can have it if he likes it,-which he always does.

In the labour rooms are several Jacquard and other looms, often worked with great diligence. The prisoners sometimes execute prison-born designs of considerable merit.

All the cells open upon one long corridor, at each extremity of which a turnkey sleeps during the night. A full view of the whole is commanded from the Governor's room. Escape is almost impossible, and very rarely attempted.

The cost of provisions for each prisoner is about 44d. per day; that of the turnkeys, a franc. The washing and mending of linen costs about 1d. per day. The salary of the turnkeys is small enough, not 2s. per week: to be sure, they are boarded and, in great part, clothed; but their place is onerous and difficult, and deserves better pay. On the whole, each prisoner is calculated to cost the State a little above 1s. daily.

Since the establishment of the Penitentiary, the number of relapsed criminals has fallen from 41 per cent. to 10, on culprits criminally condemned; and from 26 to 6, on culprits condemned correctionally. This result is, in itself, sufficient to establish the character of the system.

The product of the labour of the prisoners is one of the least satisfactory parts of the business. It is worth, on the average, little more than 4d. per day; of which the State gets about half. Considering the constant employment of the prisoners, and the trouble taken with their work, this is a very small sum; but there is no system pursued; every thing is left to chance. The employment varies from day to day,

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