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crowns from him? Mr. Burton spent that forenoon of seclusion in a blissful vision of future glory, nursing Debrett on his knee-Travers Askew, Earl of Wrynecke, &c.-succeeded his uncle 18-, married 18—, ‘Alice, only child of Carolus-and why not?' Amongst the guests invited to meet H.R.H. were Carolus Burton, Esq., of the Moss, Lady Wrynecke's father'-and so on.
The scene with his daughter was truly affecting; but on this sacred subject we dare not intrude.
Meantime the ill-starred Wally had been having a very good time of it from his point of view. He had had a succession of successful matches, or real good things,' or 'robberies,' as they were playfully termed. On the medal day he won the St. Andrew's Cross, and next morning came down to the club in the best of spirits, being engaged for another real good thing' for that day. If he had been observant he would have seen that as he came into the reading-room conversation suddenly ceased; but he was not observant. He took up the newspaper to which we have alluded, and the first thing which caught his eye was the marriage in high life above quoted. So utterly unsuspicious was he, that he was not even startled by it. He did not believe it for an instant. He felt a little annoyed, because he thought it would make a talk, and he should be chaffed about it; but this did not disturb him so much as to lead him to lay the paper down. When he had concluded his perusal of it he strolled into another room. There he found in the letter-rack a letter from Alice, which at length undeceived him. It told him in a few kind but firm words that all was over between them; but it said nothing as to her engagement to Travers Askew, which indeed at that time had not. taken place. Simpson felt completely stunned. Never for a moment had it struck him that he was neglecting Alice, and he did not think so even then. But to lose her for ever! his mind could not realise it. It was not a very large and not a very clear mind. He must think it over. So in a kind of dream he turned his brawny back
on St. Andrews Green, and its real good things' and other attractions, packed his portmanteau, and returned, not to St. Baldred's, but home. He thought the matter out on the road, and as the result of his mature deliberations did-nothing. He could probably have thrashed Travers, but what good would that have done? He remained with his father till the end of October, and then went abroad for six months, and the Parliament House and the Assembly Rooms knew him no more for a time.
The event caused a good deal of excitement, especially in golfing circles, and in the end led to a social revolution, from the effects of which we are suffering to this day.
It had never previously been doubted that in these circles the ladies might be neglected with impunity. Indeed, there existed a kind of unwritten law that during the hours of golf no man should pay attentions to the fair sex; a law as strictly enforced as that which forbids the opening of public-houses on Sundays. Probably, until the appearance of Travers Askew, no one had arisen sufficiently
above the law to defy it. But The Affair Simpson, as it was called, upset all these rules of honour. Men who cared little for golf, or more for the ladies' society, thenceforth began shamelessly to depart from the old traditions; and, still worse, the ladies began to feel their power, and they have used it unmercifully. No more could an engaged man or favoured lover devote himself with an easy mind to his match; because he knew, if he did not see, that while he was earning his daily bread, Tom this or that was walking, or sketching, or playing on the ladies' links with his beloved. For ladies' links were forthwith formed, and on them there played, not merely ladies, but recreant men. Then as time went on lawn-tennis was introduced, a destructive bait for men, as it is really more a game for men than for women.
The result is, that it is now by no means easy to secure a foursome match for the day if there is a young man in it. We must admit that we are now suffering from not having made reasonable concessions in time. We can only live in the hope of a blessed reaction.
And so our story ends. We should not have alluded further to any of the actors had it not been that last summer we unexpectedly got a glimpse of the principal character, which may interest the reader. We had been at a London theatre with a friend, and on the way home that friend proposed that we should have some supper at one of his clubs, which is accommodating enough to permit such things at any hour of the night. It also permits smoking in almost every part of the house, and we accordingly found the hall filled with smoke. Our friend having left us there while he ordered supper, we looked about, and perceived through the smoke that all the occupants of the hall were crowded together in one corner. From the midst of the crowd we heard proceeding a dual voice, now representing the scolding falsetto of a woman, and now the gruff accents of a man; but still the voice, or voices, proceeded from one and the same person, who was evidently telling a story of exquisite humour. At length the point of the story was reached, and the crowd of listeners burst like a shell, and with loud shouts and laughs of approval betook themselves to their seats. Sitting in the corner there was thus disclosed the teller of the story-a portly, middle-aged man, whom we thought we recognised. At this point our friend returned.
'Is that Travers Askew?' we inquired.
'He was six months ago. He is now Lord Wrynecke; his uncle and father both died very unexpectedly.'
'How is his wife? how do they get on?'
Oddly enough; they say he treats her pretty well. He has not given up all his old habits, as you see. But she is lenient; perhaps
because he has his trials.'
" His father-in-law?"
'Exactly-old Mr. Burton lives with them most of the year.' We cast a pitying glance towards Lord Wrynecke, and went to H. J. M.
HE gaols and convict establishments of this country are momentous institutions in our national life, and it is well that public attention should now and then be specially called to them. The present agitation as to the imprisonment of criminal children, and the apparent determination of the Home Secretary to take up the subject, may, we trust, arouse definite interest in the treatment of our prisoners, and stimulate inquiry into the important questions-how far the rule of absolute isolation now in force is beneficial in its operation and the general discipline to which they are subjected calculated to exercise a curative effect upon them. Prison reform has done much, but its work cannot be complete till it contemplates in all cases, not merely punishment, but cure so far as this may be practicable. The existing machinery is quite inadequate for such a purpose. The services of the chaplain, though most valuable, cannot be sufficient, for he has to work single-handed among a mass of difficult subjects, each one of whom would require careful individual treatment; and he has many practical difficulties, such as the necessary rule that he is only to see female prisoners in the presence of the gaol officials; while the assistance offered by Prisoners' Aid Societies is very limited and scarcely within reach of the inmates of provincial gaols, who often remain in ignorance even of the existence of such associations.
It is now the opinion of the most competent judges that a well organised system of prison visiting by voluntary workers is the best restorative agency that can be employed, and there are happily some indications of a growing conviction on the part of those in authority, that the maintenance of discipline and due severity of punishment are not incompatible with such relaxation of the separatist system as would permit of prisoners being visited by judicious persons with a view to their ultimate reform. The present writer has for a considerable time been allowed to visit the prisons of a large town in one of the midland counties with the privilege of seeing the convicts entirely alone, and the result of that experience has been the strong persuasion that there are scarcely any criminals, however hardened and apparently hopeless, who may not be to some extent benefited
'As to RESTORATIVE AGENCIES a relaxation of the present rigid regulations as to PRISON VISITATION is needed... Admitting to the utmost the efficiency of the chaplains, how insufficient are these few good men for the moral needs of the large number of hardened and habitual prisoners, and especially the depraved women. ... A systematic resort should be had to the services of judicious and humane ladies as visitors and instructors of the female prisoners.'-Extract from County and Borough Prisons, published by the Howard Association.
by an honest effort for their improvement, founded on a careful consideration of their case.
This can best be proved by details taken from real life, and we give in the following histories a few representative cases selected from the different classes of criminals who have come under the personal observation of the writer. It has been found that the very presence of a person coming to them simply as a friend has a humanising influence upon those who, knowing themselves to be branded with infamy and hopelessly in the grasp of the law, believe that they are for ever excluded from the sympathy of any but their associates in crime. This truth was first brought forcibly before. the writer in the case of a prisoner whose superior education enabled him to estimate the depths of depravity into which he had fallen, better than his more ignorant companions could have done. Nothing was known of this man beyond a long list of convictions and various false names by which he had called himself at different times. His failing health had brought him under the notice of the doctor, but he did not avail himself of that opportunity of hearing the sound of his own voice which is usually eagerly sought by the convicts, and was equally silent on the rare occasions when the chaplain was able to visit him. He seemed lost in a sullen despair, which only left him sufficient power over himself to avoid incurring punishment by any breach of the prison rules. When the writer was first left alone with this prisoner he maintained an attitude of stolid indifference, because, as he afterwards stated, he was under the impression that his visitor was one of the gaol officials, paid,' as he expressed it, for coming to see him with some occult purpose of discipline. When at last the fact was forced upon him, by reiterated assurances, that the visitor had no other object save to be a friend to him in any way that might be possible, his genuine amazement was very touching; he had driven every friend he ever had away from him long before, he said, and had not expected that anyone could be found to throw a good word to him again. Was there no mistake? Was he not taken perhaps for some other fellow not quite so bad as he was? It was no use concealing what he had been. The police books could tell that pretty well, for there was nothing short of murder he had not done, and delighted in it too! Yes, and he should do it again, no doubt, if ever he lived to get out of this dismal hole, but he believed he had come to the end of his tether, that hacking cough would drag him down to his grave, and if anything at all came after that, he added grimly, of course it would be hell fire. A friend-a friend-the word had a pleasant. sound, but it was hard to say what a friend could do for him now! So he spoke day after day for some little time. Yet, though he was right in thinking that he retained but a very feeble hold on his miserable life, he lived long enough to prove that human sympathy could bring peace and consolation, even to such an embodiment of utter despair as he had seemed to be at first.
The manner in which this man's career terminated at last was
more like an incident in a novel than a fact in real life. He had longed intensely for the day of his release; in addition to the natural desire of a prisoner to escape from his dreary place of punishment, he had all a sick man's craving for sunshine and fresh air. He knew that arrangements had been made by his new friend to place him in a quiet home at a distance from all his former associates, and he pined for the time to come with a restless eagerness which exhausted his remaining strength. He could take no rest in sleep on the last night of his imprisonment. Hour after hour he watched with hungry eyes the narrow high-placed window of his cell, till he saw the first faint gleams of dawn struggle through the bars, then he waited with ever increasing impatience for the moment that was to sound his deliverance. It came at length, and the officials went to his cell with the order of release, but only to find that another Deliverer had entered there before them, and that the convict had escaped: death had brought his soul out of prison, and he was free from the tyranny of life for evermore.
The countless varieties of crime and of character which are to be found among the inmates of a large gaol, each necessitating a different treatment from those who would befriend them, can only be dealt with very superficially in the space at our disposal, but enough may perhaps be said to give some idea of the possibilities as well as the difficulties involved in such a work.
The subject must be considered in a twofold aspect, first as regards the exercise of such moral influence on convicts during their term of imprisonment as may lead them to a personal desire of reformation; secondly, with reference to the assistance which must be given to them when they are set at liberty, if their purpose of amendment is to be carried out.
The prospects of success in both these objects rest on very different grounds; the first is, of course, immeasurably the most difficult. The least hopeful cases, however, are not those where the worst crimes have been committed, or where the convicts are the most deeply sunk in degradation and ignorance. Criminals of that description cannot cling to any shreds of self-respect, and it is scarcely in their power to attempt the hypocrisy which generally proves almost impervious to any good influence. Their consciousness that the extent of their iniquity is fully known renders them abject in their misery, and for the most part their moral ruin is due rather to an utter abandonment of themselves to unbridled passions than to the cold-blooded, selfish wickedness of systematic thieves and swindlers. A very frequent reversal of human judgment' is the inevitable. result of a close acquaintance with the nature and causes of the crimes which bring our gaol populations within the power of the law. One of the strangest cases which ever came under the notice of the writer was that of a woman condemned to death for the murder of her child. When her history was told, before she herself had been seen, it seemed as if no element of guilt was wanting to make her