+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

the East India Docks is another complaint
worth attending to. I surmise, from a visit
to one of these offices, the other day, that
clause seventeen of the Act regarding " new
offices and servants to be appointed," has been
duly carried out by a solicitous Government!
When I presented myself at the entrance
to seek practical knowledge, a stout gentleman
in plush asked me, with an easy air of
sarcasm, " whether I expected the ' Shipping
Master ' to come down to me? " Modestly
replying in the negative, I walked up-stairs to
more important employ├ęs. Easy business, and
a playful, not to say impertinent, mode of
treating strangers, seemed to characterise the
place; and I left Tower Hill, tolerably tired
of flunkeys up-stairs and flunkeys down!

A charge is also made by the delegates
against the shipping office at the " Sailors'
Home " for an undue preference in shipping
their own boarders. I satisfied myself by
personal inquiry that this charge was unfair.
The further assertion in their Memorial,
concerning the evils existent there, is quite
unsupported. But the Memorial is to be dealt with
cautiously; the handiwork of persons quite
different from sailors is discernible in it.

I may mention here, as illustrative of former
observations, that clause eighty-two provides
"a Naval Court for hearing complaints on the
high seas "—to be constituted by a naval or
consular officer, and composed of naval officers,
masters of merchant ships, and British
merchants. Such court may supersede a master,
and its report goes home to the Board of

Such is a brief, and from our space
necessarily very condensed, account of the tendency
of our late maritime legislation. " Modification"
in various matters has been promised,
and the ultimate " consolidation " of these
bills postponed for the present. Meanwhile,
it is certain that a large body of solid, useful
legislation, on a most important subject, has
been added to our statute-books. There is
vast latent good in it all, which time will
develope, and experience direct. It is to be
hoped that our new Admiralty will have such
a good look-out kept on it from this time, as
to prevent its "going the way"—apparently
the doomed, corrupt wayof " all (official)



We are gratified in being able to publish
some account of the youths with whom our
readers were made acquainted in a former
article. We have ascertained that the
statements in the letter are authentic:

"Sir,—I was much pleased upon reading an
article, under the title of ' The Power of
Small Beginnings,' in your valuable journal
for July 20th, 1850, to find that some of the
wealthy of our highly favoured land have been
induced to assist in carrying out that
excellent motto, 'Prevention is better than
cure.' Having been very closely connected
with some of the parties therein alluded to,
I feel great pleasure in adding my humble
testimony to the already indisputable fact,
that much may be done with our juvenile
offenders to save them from the dreadful
certainty of becoming, unless reclaimed,
confirmed thieves.

"In the autumn of 1849 I was appointed
by Her Majesty's Emigration Commissioners,
Schoolmaster to the ship, on board of which
vessel were twelve of the youths referred to
in the above-mentioned article. I am happy
to say that, during the voyage they
conducted themselves with propriety, and upon
arriving at their destination the whole of
them found immediate employment, and at
once became good and useful members of
society. Having been obliged to return,
unexpectedly, to this country, I visited several
of them previous to my departure, when they
each assured me that no words could convey
an idea of the gratitude they felt for what
had been done for them, and expressed a wish,
which I look upon as a sure sign of their own
improvement, that others, who had been their
associates in crime in England, might, through
the assistance of the wealthy and benevolent
at home, have the same opportunity of showing
what judicious treatment and education will
do in their cases. I enclose my name and
address, and any information that I can afford
which will be of service to you in carrying
out the laudable object you have in view, I
shall be most happy to communicate.


We have also seen letters from two of the
reformed boys. One was taken from prison by
the Superintendent of the Duck Lane Ragged
School and Dormitory; he had been ten
years a pickpocket, and as a " shovel-pitcher,"
or passer of counterfeit money, had visited
every town in England. He had spent six years
and two months in prison; out of ten years,
he had been forty times committed to prison
when he came to the Institution. " I never
met with a more hopeless-looking young man,"
says our informant; " crime was depicted in
his countenance; he had received no education
but what he had picked up in prison."
The other is the joint composition of two
lads. One had been five; the other, eight
years, thieving in the streets of London.
After passing through the Institution during
a few months, all these unfortunates emigrated.
Their letters show that they are well-doing,
and thoroughly reformed.

But our readers will distinctly understand
that, in advocating the cause of such an
establishment, we do so, only as it tends to mitigate
a monstrous evil already in existence. To
endow such Institutions, and leave the question
of National Education in its present shameful
state, would be to maintain a cruel absurdity