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SONNET TO THE QUEEN.
145 LONDON AND ROME,
159 THE BRITISH LEGION,
169 THE LITERARY REMAINS OF ISAAC TOMKINS, GENT., COMMUNICATED BY PETER JENKINS, HIS LITERARY EXECUTOR,
179 THE WORLD WE LIVE IN. No. X.
195 THE GREENWOOD SHRIFT,
208 THE LATE COMMERCIAL CRISIS,
210 NOTES OF A NATURALIST,
226 THE ELECTIONS,
238 PASSAGES FROM THE DIARY OF A LATE PHYSICIAN. THE LAST CHAPTER.—THE DESTROYER,
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TO THE QUEEN.
WHEN SOME FAIR BARK FIRST GLIDES INTO THE SEA,
It is only since the year 1791 that system excogitated as a whole, and the subject we have undertaken briefly not arising gradually out of the wants to treat has attracted any attention of society, this was naturally the proin France. Previous to that period minent feature. The Constituent penal justice belonged in that country Assembly, the first French national to seignorial and ecclesiastical juris. authority which legislated on this dictions, and consisted for the most matter, distinguished between the part in capital or corporal punish- arrested, the accused, and the con. ments. Sentences being then sum- demned—between all the gradations mary, there was no need of confine- of criminals and the establishments ment before trial; and after trial either which were destined to receive them, à perpetual privation of liberty, for with a degree of precision which no which the galleys sufficed, or torture, other nation had then attained to. Subor mutilation, were the verdicts ordi. sequently this classification has been narily pronounced. But the destruc. insisted on with a growing emphasis, tion of the feudal power of the nobility and so completely do we consider it and of the church, the abolition of as the beginning of all penitentiary corporal inflictions, and the adoption discipline, that we shall commence of the trial by jury, introduced many this paper by giving an account of distinctions. Crimes and offences what has been done, or rather what were no longer met by arbitrary judg- has been decreed by the law in this ments, but were dealt with by a deli- respect in France. berate process of law. Hence there There are in that country six difsprung up a necessity of having ferent kinds of prisons : Bagnes, prisons for persons awaiting their sen- maisons centrales, maisons departences; and, as all penalties except tementales, or houses of correction, the highest consisted in imprison- maisons d'arret, maisons d'arret and ment, a multitude of penal establish- de justice, and depóts. Of the bagnes, ments of different grades, correspond that of Brest is destined to receive ing to different classes of offenders, those who may be condemned to ten became likewise requisite.
years of forced labour, and upwards It was .owing, no doubt, to the late to perpetuity; the other two bagnes epoch at which prisons thus became are for those whose sentences of the national institutions in France, that same nature extend not beyond from the importance of their classification, five to ten years. The maisons cenand the classing of their inmates, was trales, of which there are nineteen at once fully appreciated. Of a penal spread over the whole kingdom, are
VOL. XLII. NO, CCLXII,
peopled by criminals whose imprison- of their punishment within its walls, ment is to be continued beyond one, and are associated with others who and not beyond ten years.
The are untried. A house of correction, eighty-seven houses of correction again, harbours temporarily those are för smaller offenders,whose punish- condemned to reclusion, and a maison ment is limited to one year. The centrale is encumbered with galmaisons d'arret and de justice are for leriens till they can be removed to those under accusation and awaiting their proper destination; and all these judgment. The maisons d'arret are establishments receive indifferently in simply to receive arrested or this way all these different descrippected persons, charged with small tions of criminals. Indeed, the houses offences; and the depôts correspond of correction have become also houses in some degree to our lock-up-houses. of arrest and of justice, and are open All prisoners indifferently, when first to those charged with misdemeanours apprehended, are thrown into the or crimes, to beggars, vagabonds, depôts, but remain within them only lunatics, debtors, and children imfor a few days.
prisoned by the paternal authority. In this enumeration of French pri- All the prisons of the departments sons we see the principle of classifica- represent, therefore, all the crimes, tion abundantly recognised. Even abominations, and miseries of society before trial prisoners are classed in blended and festering together. two categories, are called prevenus Monsieur Gasparin, in his late reand accusés, according to the lightness port on provincial prisons, addressed or gravity of their offences, and are to the King of the French, expresses confined in distinct kinds of establish- himself as follows on this subject :ments, maisons d'arret, and maisons “ The population of these prisons is d'arret and de justice : after trial of two sorts—fluctuating and stationthere is again a threefold distinction ary The first is composed of soldiers made between them, corresponding to and sailors, of whom the number is the houses of correction, the central considerable, especially near the stahouses, or houses of reclusion, and tions of councils of war and of revi. the bagnes.
sion ; of criminals who are to be transBut all this classification, which ap- ferred to the central houses and the pears so admirable on paper, disap- bagnes by the gendarmerie ; of begpears, we are sorry to say, altogether, gars and vagabonds committed by the when we come to examine the practi- mayors of their respective communes ; cal working of the French system. of lunatics and prostitutes; of prisonSo great is the confusion which exists ers to be sent before the Court of between all the establishments we Assizes; of correctioners to be brought have above named, that they hardly before the judges of appeal; of culappear ever to have had distinct des. prits to be delivered over to the courts tinations ; and so promiscuous are and tribunals, either as witnesses, or to the crowds which they harbour, that plead the pardons they may have reif the necessity of separating and ceived ; of galleriens or reclusionaires, classing culprits had never been re- who have been sent from one bagne cognised, the mixture of criminals of to another, or from one central house all grades associated together could to another; and of several other de. not be more complete than it now is. scriptions of persons, of whom it would
This confusion arises partly from be difficult to give an exact enumerathe insufficient number of correctional tion." and central houses, partly from all After declaring that no separation the prisons being places of passage exists between this fluctuating populaand temporary abode to criminals on tion and the stationary population of the road, or awaiting their trans- the provincial prisons, and pointing ference to the establishments to which out how corrupting and how destructhey are sentenced, and partly from tive of order and discipline the conthe admission of persons into penal stant flux and reflux of such masses institutions who ought to be otherwise must be in houses of correction, M. dealt with. Thus a maison de justice Gasparin enumerates the several is often really converted into a house classes of persons which constitute the of correction; and those already sen- permanent inmates of these establishtenced undergo the whole or a part ments ; viz. Ist, prevenus, or those
charged with misdemeanours ; 2d, and de justice. We make no distincdebtors; 3d, individuals imprisoned to tion between these two sorts of prisons, secure the payment of fines or reim. because in truth none exists beyond bursements due either to the state or their distinct names. Prevenus and to private claimants ; 4th, debtors to accusés are found mingled together in the treasury ; 5th, bankrupts; 6th, both of them. Their inmates, being prisoners to stand their trial before the untried persons, are presumed to be Courts of Assizes ; 7th, criminals con- innocent, and some, no doubt, are so; demned to the guillotine awaiting the but the great majority of them are execution of their sentences ; 8th, most desperate ruffians. culprits sentenced to a year or less of droves of human beings shut up in the correctional imprisonment; 9th, chil. maison de force in Paris in perfect dren committed by the parental autho- idleness, and having the most complete rity ; and 10th, youths above the age freedom of intercourse with each other, of sixteen under restraint or condem- It was a fearfully revolting spectacle. nation by virtue of the 66th and 67th The building has accommodation only articles of the penal code.
for 600 persons, and 800 are actually According to the intention of the lodged in it. Two beds placed side law, all these different descriptions of by side serve for three prisoners. prisoners should be kept apart, but The director of the house assured us " the inspectors who have lately vi- that it was impossible for any indivisited the prisons in question,” says dual to go out of this prison after the the report, “ have in no instance found usual sojourn in it, which is about the legal classification put into prac- three months, without being thoroughtice. Even the separation of the sexes ly depraved, although he might have is not general ; in many prisons the entered it with a character comparamen and women have free intercourse tively immaculate. He said also that with each other during the day, and 300 of those in confinement would in almost all they have opportunities probably be acquitted, or could at of meeting and communicating to- least furnish bail which would ensure gether. The sexes are nevertheless their appearance before a jury, but kept asunder much more effectually that this bail, though deemed by him than the other classes of prisoners. sufficient, would not be received by In the houses of arrest and of justice the law courts. We leave to the it rarely happens that the prevenus and reader's imagination the horrid state the accusés are either by night or by these crowds of poor wretches must be day separated, or hindered from asso- in; the hell of mutual corruption they ciating with those who have been al- must make together; and the dreadful ready condemned ; and when the same sufferings and degradation they must building serves for a maison d'arret, bring upon themselves, between the de justice, et de correction, which is very alternations of squalid debauchery and frequently the case, a deplorable con- excess (for they are permitted every fusion takes place, for then, under the indulgence consistent with their safe same roof, criminality in all its ele- custody and a very relaxed discipline) ments and all its degrees is exhibited and complete indolence. in one revolting medley of all crimes But however bad may be the state and all vices."
of the maisons d'arret and de justice, Having now shown, by one medium that of the depóts is still worse. These example, what the French prevailing hideous dens are houses of short detensystem, first theoretically, and then tion, situated in every market town practically, is, and pointed out the and arrondissement all over the French master vice which pervades, more or territory, and are, besides, receptacles less, all the penal institutions of France, for criminals till they can be disgorged viz. confusion, overtopping and nega- into the prisons to which they are destiving classification,-we proceed to tined. So malignant to life are these other particulars, in which indeed the horrid stews, that the galleriens, on radical evil just named will reappear, their passage to the bagnes, can hardfor it is ascendant in every detail of ly pass a night or two under their the subject before us.
roof without having some of their We have visited two establishments members paralysed by the damp and of preventive imprisonment in Paris— infected walls and atmosphere. " No a maison d'arret, and a maison d'arret words," says M. Leon Faucher, a gen