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bedstead and bedding, a table and half a dozen chairs, together with a new scythema dividend of the philanthropist's relics which, at a subsequent period, when the donor's fame had spread far and wide, became mightily enhanced in value. We have no means of ascertaining the house where Howard lived at Stoke Newington, but we know where he worshipped. We have a vivid recollection of the old Independent chapel there, as it appeared about twenty years ago, then much in the same state it had been in from the beginning. The small pulpit, surmounted with a huge sounding board, and the tall-backed pews and heavy galleries, spoke of other days, constituting an appropriate background for the figure of young Mr. Howard in earnest prayer, or reverently listening to his pastor, the Rev. Micaiah Townsend. The man of whom we write, it should be remembered, was eminent for his spiritual piety, no less than his active benevolence. He breathed through his letters and journals a devotional fervour which, while they rebuke the languid religious sentiments of frigid professors of Christianity, are calculated to excite a sympathetic ardour in the hearts of all who have any spiritual sensibility. The motto on his monument in Cardington church, written by himself, was expressive of his evangelical creed, and his tone of humble confidence from first to last, “ My hope is in Christ."
Howard removed to lodgings in St. Paul's churchyard, whence he proceeded to the continent, and where, we presume, he afterwards returned. That visit to the continent was a very eventful one. He was taken prisoner, and barbarously treated, and detained for some months a captive in France. There he saw and felt what entered into his soul, and afterwards helped to impel him onward in his astonishing career of prison visitation and reform. So strong was the confidence he inspired, he was permitted to return to England to negotiate with the government for his own liberation. He had pledged his honour to go back to prison if he did not
succeed: and when his friends congratulated him on his escape, he desired them to defer their expressions of joy, till he had obtained an honourable discharge of his obligations. So the shadow of Howard passes us in St. Paul's churchyard, out on parole, like another Regulus, prepared to re-enter the land of captivity if he cannot obtain liberty upon terms fair and just. A right noble study is that for the men of commerce, and for all sorts of men who pass by St. Paul's every day: My word is my bond. This sentiment, embodied in the conduct even of a heathen, ought surely to guide believers in the Bible, which commends him who “ to his own hurt, and changeth not.”
In tracing the other London haunts of Howard, we must plunge into the prison world of the last century. Elsewhere in the metropolis, what we know of him for the rest of his life is next to nothing. It is a wonderful progress we have to make, as we follow this illustrious individual in his circumnavigation of charity, "not to survey the sumptuousness of palaces or the stateliness of temples, not to make accurate measurements of the remains of ancient grandeur, nor to form a scale of the curiosity of modern art, not to collect medals or collate manuscripts; but to dive into the depths of dungeons, to plunge into the infection of hospitals, to survey the mansions of sorrow and pain, to take the gauge and dimensions of misery, depression, and contempt, to remember the forgotten, to attend to the neglected, to visit the forsaken, and to compare and collate the distresses of all men.” The Augean stables which Hercules undertook to cleanse is no unapt symbol of the dens of corruption, tyranny, cruelty, and vice, which Howard resolved to purify and transform, when he entered on his great work of prison reformation. In his book on prisons, he gives the result of his earlier visits to those in London; and from that source, aided by kindred documents, we derive the materials of what for the most part will form the rest of this paper. The following passages have
a graphic character about them, and enable us to catch a glimpse of the philanthropist while engaged in his errands of mercy :-- At each visit I entered every room, cell, and dungeon, with a memorandum book in my hand, in which I noted particulars on the spot.” “I have been frequently asked what precautions I used to preserve
myself from infection in the prisons and hospitals which I visit. I here answer, next to the free goodness and mercy of the Author of my being, temperance and cleanliness are my preservatives. Trusting in Divine Providence, and believing myself in the. way
of my duty, I visit the most noxious cells; and while thus employed, I fear no evil. I never enter an hospital or prison before breakfast, and in an offensive room I seldom draw my breath deeply."
I . A general description of the London prisons by Howard, gives a fearful idea of the neglect of discipline which prevailed when he began his researches. The statistics which Howard supplies relative
to the prison world of London, afford terrible insight into the miseries experienced by the captives.
Newgate was rebuilt between 1778 and 1780. As then erected, and as it still remains, it presents a great improvement upon
its predecessor; but, as Howard observed, it was far from being a model, and at the commencement of the present century the gaol fever broke out there, which he predicted would be the result of its defective and faulty arrangements. One shudders on entering the condemned cells which Howard opens for our inspection. There are upon each of the three floors five cells, all vaulted. The strong stone-wall is lined all round with planks studded with broad-headed nails; and such is the aspect of these darksome, solitary abodes, that criminals, before unmoved, have been struck with horror, and have shed tears on entering them. Fifteen condemned cells appear to us, now that the criminal law has been reformed, a most unnecessary provision; but alas ! when Howard wrote, they seemed not more than to suffice for the demand which was created by the Draconic severity of the judicial code. In twelve years 467 executions took place in London, including two by burning, the two culprits being women, one condemned for murder, the other for coining
The hardened criminal and the juvenile offender were closely associated; and if the latter resisted his initiation into the mystery of the prison-house, he underwent a mock trial by some impudent offender, who assumed the office of judge, and tied a knotted towel on his head to imitate a wig. Prisoners' were requested to pay “ garnish," as contributions to riotous entertainments were called; and the miserable creature who had no money was stripped of his clothes, in discharge of the villainous demand.
A singular relic of the ancient administration of torture is mentioned by Howard as continuing in a form which was observed in his time. When prisoners capitally convicted at the Old
Bailey were brought up to receive sentence, and the judge asked, “What have you to say why judgment of death and execution should not be awarded against you?" the executioner slipped a whipcord noose about the thumbs.
The Fleet Prison stood not far off Newgate, and there the philanthropist discloses some startling scenes of disorder. “They play in the court-yard at skittles, mississippi, fives, tennis, etc.; and not only the prisoners, for I saw among them several butchers and others from the market, who are admitted here as at another public-house. The same may be seen in many other prisons where the gaoler keeps or lets the tap. Besides the inconvenience of this to prisoners, the frequenting a prison lessens the dread of being confined in one. On Monday night there was a wine club, on Thursday night a beer club, each lasting usually till one or two in the morning. I need not say how much riot they occasion; how the sober prisoners and those that are sick are annoyed by them.”
We are next conducted to New Ludgate, in Bishopsgate-street, a prison for debtors, free of the city, and for clergymen, proctors, and attorneys. The common side debtors are in two large garrets, the forest and dock, which have no fire-places. The prison is out of repair, the walls and ceilings very black, being never whitewashed. There is no infirmary, no bath. It was in reference to this debtors' prison, that the Spectator says: “Passing under Ludgate the other day, I heard a voice bawling for charity, which I thought I had somewhere heard before. Coming near to the gate, the prisoner called me by my name, and desired I would throw something into the box." Happily it is all now swept away, and so is the Poultry compter, with regard to which Howard remarks: “At the roof of the prison are spacious leads, on which the master's side debtors are sometimes allowed to walk; but then the keeper is with them, for the leads communicate with the adjoining houses, one of which affords a ready escape from so close a prison in case of fire.” From