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has been adopted by the managers, after a trial of different dispositions of the children, as on the whole the most advantageous.'

The chief instrument then of reformation made use of by the societies, now under our consideration, is labour, the carefully filling up all the different intervals of time with useful occupation, and thus giving a habit of patient industry. The mind of a child dwells upon mischief only, when it has nothing more powerfully interesting to occupy it. The more violent passions have not yet come into action, and this period, which immediately precedes adolescence, is that in which good habits can be acquired with the greatest certainty. These habits, when once formed, will have great power in restraining conduct at the period shortly to arrive, when passion is the strongest, and reason, when compared with the difficulties which it has to contend against, is the weakest. This then is the period during which the parent and philanthropist must work; in a little time it will be too late: the managers of this society observe :

*The experience of our institution fully confirms the common opinion that the hope of a delinquent's reformation is inversely as his years; and that the benefit which an offender of mature age derives from the discipline of the Refuge is greatly counter-balanced by the evil which he spreads around him. It must indeed be an obvious truth, that a youth of either sex, who has passed the years of childhood, who adds a thorough acquaintance with vice to the untutored passions of early life, and who has felt all the attractions, and but slightly the bitter consequences of guilt, is not included among those juvenile delinquents whom it was the design of this institution to receive, cherish, and reform.'

Juvenile delinquents within the period of life alluded to are submitted to the discipline already described ; and when it is considered that they are sufficiently habituated to moral conduct, and have obtained skill in some mechanical employment, they are apprenticed to masters in different parts of the country. Nor does the supervision of the society cease upon the youths quitting the walls of the institution, but as far as is practicable, a tutelary observation is still maintained over the situation of the youth who have been indentured, and particularly over the treatment which they receive from their employers. Ard in some instances, where an interference on behalf of the apprentice was demanded, as where it was discovered that he had been cruelly treated, or that his morals had been neglected, or that the character of his master was different from what it had been represented, and likely to affect injuriously the welfare of the indentured boy, a change

was effected by the exertions of the committee, and the child transferred to a more humane and advantageous situation.'

We have had the advantage of receiving communications respecting these institutions from an eminent American philanthropist, who informs us that, as far as his knowledge extends, their number is three; one in Pennsylvania, for the city and county of Philadelphia ; the one in New York, which we have been considering; and one in Boston in Massachusetts, for the city of Boston.

He believes that, upon an average, there are 120 children in each of these institutions; and he thinks that he can with safety say that 80 children at the least are reclaimed out of each 100 who enter them.

At Boston, the labour has been confined to a very large garden. In Philadelphia, mechanical arts are taught as well as at New York; but, he adds, ' a plan was in progress when I left Boston for the establishment of a farm school for this class of children, from which I should look for better results, both financial and moral, than from any mechanical arts.'

Such is the conduct of certain societies in the United States of America, with regard to juvenile offenders. But if, in this country, a child steals a faggot, or is guilty of any other act of depredation, which youthful thoughtlessness, or the instigation of unprincipled parents, may induce him to commit, what is done? The law makes no discrimination; the penalty is affixed to the crime; the degree only, not the description of punishment, is left to the discretion of the judge; and the prison, with all its horrors, is always open to receive the breakers of the law, of whatever age they may be. The child who once enters a prison, ever after becomes but too familiar with its walls. The punishment, instead of reclaiming, as in the instance quoted from America, has a directly opposite effect ; vice, instead of being corrected, is contracted in our prisons, and the boy, who, when first committed, was overwhelmed with grief and a consciousness of guilt, has not only learned to sneer at virtue before he is liberated, but has obtained information and associates which render him capable of carrying on a predatory war against society with effect. Out of each 100 committed to the House of Reformation, our American friend assures us that 80 are, upon an average, reclaimed. Out of that number once committed in this country, how many are again found upon the gaoler's list? But suppose a youth to have been not only guilty of the particular offence for which he has been cominitted, but also to be really corrupted,-a system similar to that pursued in America is still the only one which can possibly succeed in correcting him. Vice, which brings an offender under the cognizance of the legal authorities, is usually joined

with a spirit of daring and opposition, which would not be de: terred by blows or rough treatment from the pursuit of its obi ject. But the lengthened endurance of a mild steady discipline, in which the bad feelings have no play, and in which there is nothing to oppose, is quite another matter. Where there is nothing to resist, nothing to combat, the brutal mind will, from very want of excitement, either fall into a state of listlessness or despondency, and after a time will receive with gratitude any employment which will relieve it from its own fatiguing company. A habit of industry may then by degrees be generated, and after a time pleasure will arise from the circumstance of doing what is right.

Let us consider the inmates of our prisons, and analyze the causes of their misfortunes. What does their criminal conduct arise from? In many, from ignorance. In many, from the pressure of misery. In some, from temporary want of balance between the passions and moral powers which exists generally in youth ; in most, from vicious habits early acquired. Knowledge is the cure for ignorance, so that those in this class may without much difficulty be made good members of society: instead of despising and merely punishing, let us also teach them. We are aware that it is an easier matter to keep ourselves altogether aloof from persons of this description, than to improve them ; indolence and pride both favour such conduct, but is it generous, or even politic? for although we personally may avoid contamination, society, as a mass, cannot. In these times, if we would have society avoid threatening convulsions, there is but one course to pursue, which is active benevolence. The crimes of those in the second class proceed from circumstances which human nature can seldom withstand, and it should not be forgotten that the money required to punish might in such cases be often sufficient to reclaim. To the third class, viz. those who have done wrong from a temporary want of balance between the passions and the moral powers, most men have belonged in the earlier period of life, and their future course for good or for ill has depended much upon the education they have received, and the society in which they have been thrown. We cannot be too careful about destroying future prospects in life by too severe a condemnation of the thoughtlessness of youth, by degrading him for ever for actions for which perhaps those who ought to have restrained him are more responsible than himself. We heard the other day of a boy who, for joining in a youthful disturbance in a workhouse, and breaking some windows, had been committed to the House of Correction. This boy bore otherwise an excellent character; for this act, he undoubtedly deserved punish

ment, the rod perhaps, or solitary confinement. But did his conduct justify the sending him to mix with the most hardened offenders of the metropolis ? Our indignation is roused at the recital of such an act of atrocity, this poisoning of society in its very source. The boy has since been received by the Children's Friend Society for the suppression of Juvenile Vagrancy, and will, after probation in its School of Industry, be apprenticed in some of our healthy colonies, and there, in all probability, become a useful member of the community. We had, some few months back, occasion more fully to notice the above mentioned society. We have lately again visited the boys' asylum at Hackney-wick, and received the highest satisfaction from viewing the arrangements and the treatment of the children, who are for the most part from the lowest dreys of our population

population - some have committed offence , most have been exposed to very unfavourable circumstances, and would in all probability in a short time have been lost, had they not been rescued by the society. Kind treatment only is used here; a blow is never given; and the master, speaking from experience, says it is vever necessary, there being few who refuse to be directed by those who manifest a lively interest in their welfare. We saw here one boy who had committed two thefts; he was not only a monitor, but found worthy of the highest trust: in the world he would have been degraded, and never had a chance of regaining his character. Here the young offender has a fair opportunity given to him; he is placed under favourable circumstances, he is in fact educated. Plutarch says that Lycurgus resolved the whole business of legislation into the bringing up of youth, and we feel an assurance that a great proportion of our criminal legislation, especially for children, might also be so, with benefit to society. Asylums such as that at Hackney-wick, and those in the United States of America, are the only proper receptacles for youthful offenders.

In England, as is supposed most suitable to a free country, but little discretion is left in the hands of the magistrate with regard to the manner of dealing with an offence. But in the case of youths, this is attended at present with great inconvenience; for this reason, until proper asylums are open for their reception, we prefer a summary punishment on the spot, to the imprisonment of young boys. To a single magistrate, however, we should be unwilling to delegate the power of ordering its infliction; but it might be given to two or more, as is the case at present with many summary convictions. As a general rule we protest against corporal punishment; but under existing circumstances we certainly do think that the rod

is better for children than an English prison. A police magistrate, whom we shall not name here, but whose example we hold forth to his brethren, was so horror-struck at the idea of committing children to prison, that he resolved to run some personal risk rather than do so, and he has become a worthy instance of breaking the law for the sake of doing good. When a child is brought before him, instead of awarding the punishment prescribed by the statute book, he obtains permission from the parents to flog him, and he actually has that punishment inficted with a birch rod in a summary manner in the yard of his office. We have his assurance that his rod has had a better effect than the tread-wheel; children rarely appear before him a second time.

We have a well-grounded hope, that crime may be very much diminished by a consideration of its causes, and by subjecting the criminals to such a moral discipline as will operate by degrees upon the character. The necessary machinery would without doubt be expensive in the first instance; but the eventual gain to society would be great, as criminals would not breed criminals in the same ratio as at present. Prisons should be hospitals for those who are morally diseased, and their treatment shonld be rational. In the case of young offenders, all that need be done is to educate them. To allow a child's future character to be compromised by soine early indiscretion is to create an enemy to society. The present government has not neglected the important subject which we have been considering. A gentleman whom they sent to America has now returned, and his report we hope will shortly be before the public. We do most sincerely trust that his majesty's ministers will lose no time in bringing forward some well considered measure to remove the evils, of which we have pointed out only a small proportion.

ON TEACHING BY PICTURES. We have had our attention directed to this subject by the following statement :* I write as you desire, to give you some account of my

little nephew, who is now just two years old. He is extremely fond of pictures, and has been in the habit of amusing himself with the wood-cuts in the "Penny and Saturday Magazines," and other books within his reach, occasionally asking about what he sees. For several months he has been able to name, and distinguish, by form, every animal, plant, statue, and portrait in the first volume of the Penny Magazine, every thing, in short, but some of the ruins,

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