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show what a fine thing the separate system
is, for the health of the body; how it never
affects the mind except for good; how it is the
true preventive of pulmonary disease; and so
on. The deduction we must draw from such
things is, that Providence was quite mistaken
in making us gregarious, and that we had
better all shut ourselves up directly. Neither
will we refer to that ' talented criminal,' Dr.
Dodd, whose exceedingly indifferent verses
applied to a system now extinct, in reference
to our penitentiaries for convicted prisoners.
Neither, after what we have quoted from
Lord Grey, need we refer to the likewise
quoted report of the American authorities,
who are perfectly sure that no extent of
confinement in the Philadelphia prison has ever
affected the intellectual powers of any
prisoner. Mr. Croker cogently observes, in the
Good-Natured Man, that either his hat must
be on his head, or it must be off. By a parity
of reasoning, we conclude that both Lord Grey
and the American authorities cannot possibly
be rightunless indeed the notoriously
settled habits of the American people, and the
absence of any approach to restlessness in the
national character, render them unusually
good subjects for protracted seclusion, and an
exception from the rest of mankind.

In using the term ' pattern penitence ' we
beg it to be understood that we do not apply
it to Mr. Field, or to any other chaplain, but
to the system; which appears to us to make
these doubtful converts all alike. Although
Mr. Field has not shown any remarkable
courtesy in the instance we have set forth in
a note, it is our wish to show all courtesy to
him, and to his office, and to his sincerity in
the discharge of its duties. In our desire to
represent him with fairness and impartiality,
we will not take leave of him without the
following quotation from his book:

' Scarcely sufficient time has yet expired
since the present system was introduced, for
me to report much concerning discharged
criminals. Out of a class so degradedthe
very dregs of the communityit can be no
wonder that some, of whose improvement I
cherished the hope, should have relapsed.
Disappointed in a few cases I have been, yet
by no means discouraged, since I can with
pleasure refer to many whose conduct is
affording proof of reformation. Gratifying
indeed have been some accounts received
from liberated offenders themselves, as well
as from clergymen of parishes to which they
have returned. I have also myself visited the
homes of some of our former prisoners, and
have been cheered by the testimony given,
and the evident signs of improved character
which I have there observed. Although I do
not venture at present to describe the
particular cases of prisoners, concerning whose
reformation I feel much confidence, because, as
I have stated, the time of trial has hitherto
been short; yet I can with pleasure refer to
some public documents which prove the
happy effects of similar discipline in other

It should also be stated that the Reverend
Mr. Kingsmill, the chaplain of the Model
Prison at Pentonville, in his calm and
intelligent report made to the Commissioners
on the first of February, 1849, expresses his
belief ' that the effects produced here upon
the character of prisoners, have been
encouraging in a high degree.'

But, we entreat our readers once again
to look at that Model Prison dietary (which
is essential to the system, though the
system is so very healthy of itself); to
remember the other enormous expenses of the
establishment; to consider the circumstances
of this old country, with the inevitable
anomalies and contrasts it must present; and to
decide, on temperate reflection, whether there
are any sufficient reasons for adding this
monstrous contrast to the rest. Let us impress
upon our readers that the existing question
is, not between this system and the old abuses
of the old profligate Gaols (with which, thank
Heaven, we have nothing to do), but between
this system and the associated silent system,
where the dietary is much lower, where the
annual cost of provision, management, repairs,
clothing, &c., does not exceed, on a liberal
average, £25 for each prisoner; where many
prisoners are, and every prisoner would be
(if due accommodation were provided in
some over-crowded prisons), locked up alone,
for twelve hours out of every twenty-four,
and where, while preserved from contamination,
he is still one of a society of men, and
not an isolated being, filling his whole sphere
of view with a diseased dilation of himself. We
hear that the associated silent system is
objectionable, because of the number of punishments
it involves for breaches of the prison
discipline; but how can we, in the same breath,
be told that the resolutions of prisoners for
the misty future are to be trusted, and that,
on the least temptation, they are so little to
be relied on, as to the solid present? How
can I set the pattern penitence against the
career that preceded it, when I am told that
if I put that man with other men, and lay a
solemn charge upon him not to address them
by word or sign, there are such and such great
chances that he will want the resolution to

Remember that this separate system, though
commended in the English Parliament and
spreading in England, has not spread in
America, despite of all the steeple-chase riders in the
United States. Remember that it has never
reached the State most distinguished for its
learning, for its moderation, for its remarkable
men of European reputation, for the
excellence of its public Institutions. Let it
be tried here, on a limited scale, if you will,
with fair representatives of all classes of
prisoners: let Captain Macconnochie's system
be tried: let anything with a ray of hope in
it be tried: but, only as a part of some general