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Mr. Flamborough's evidence, and I will They informed me that yesterday's unsend my son to him for that purpose the easiness and fatigue had increased her first opportunity; nor do I in the least fever, and it was judged proper to leave doubt but he will comply with my request; her behind. My next care was to send and as to my own evidence, you need be my son to procure a room or two to lodge under no uneasiness about that.”
the family in, as near the prison as con“Well, sir,” cried he, “all the return veniently could be found. He obeyed; I can make shall be yours. You shall have but could only find one apartment, which more than half my bed-clothes to-night, was hired at a small expense for his mother and I'll take care to stand your friend in and sisters, the gaoler, with humanity, conthe prison, where I think I have some senting to let him and his two little bro. influence.
thers lie in the prison with me. A bed I thanked him, and could not avoid was therefore prepared for them in a corner being surprised at the present youthful of the room, which I thought answered change in his aspect; for at the time I had very conveniently. I was willing, however, seen him before, he appeared at least sixty. previously to know whether my little chil
. “Sir,” answered he, “ you are little ac- dren chose to lie in a place which seemed quainted with the world; I had, at that to fright them upon entrance. time, false hair, and have learnt the art Well,” cried I, “my good boys, how of counterfeiting every age from seventeen do you like your bed? I hope you are to seventy. Ah, sir I had I but bestowed not afraid to lie in this room, dark as it half the pains in learning a trade that I appears ?” have in learning to be a scoundrel, I might No, papa,” says Dick, “I am not have been a rich man at this day. But, afraid to lie anywhere, where you are. rogue as I am, still I may be your friend, “And I,” says Bill, who was yet but and that, perhaps, when you least expect four years old, love every place best that it.”
my papa is in." We were now prevented from further After this I allotted to each of the family conversation by the arrival of the gaoler's what they were to do. My daughter was servants, who came to call over the pri- particularly directed to watch her declining soners' names, and lock up for the night. A sister's health; my wife was to attend me; fellow also, with a bundle of straw for my my little boys were to read to me : “And bed, attended, who led me along a dark as for you, my son,” continued I, “it is narrow passage, into a room paved like by the labour of your hands we must all the common prison, and in one corner of hope to be supported. Your wages as a this I spread my bed, and the clothes given day-labourer will be fully sufficient, with me by my fellow-prisoner ; which done, proper frugality, to maintain us all, and my conductor, who was civil enough, bade comfortably too. Thou art now sixteen me a good night. After my usual medita- years old, and hast strength; and it was tions, and having praised my Heavenly given thee, my son, for very useful purCorrector, I laid myself down, and slept poses; for it must save from famine your with the utmost tranquillity till morning. helpless parents and family. Prepare then,
this evening, to look out for work against CHAPTER XXVI.
to-morrow, and bring home every night A Reformation in the Gaol: to make laws com- what money you earn for our support. plete, they should reward as well as panish.
Having thus instructed him, and settled The next morning early, I was awakened the rest, I walked down to the common by my family, whom I found in tears at prison, where I could enjoy more air and my bedside. The gloomy strength of every room. But I was not long there when the thing about us, it seems, had daunted them. execrations, lewdness, and brutality that I gently rebuked their sorrow, assuring invaded me on every side, drove me back them I had never slept with greater tran- to my apartment again. Here I sat for quillity; and next inquired after my eldest some time pondering upon the strange daughter, who was not among them. infatuation of wretches, who, finding all mankind in open arms against them, were it not worth your while, then, just to try labouring to make themselves a future and how you may like the usage of another a tremendous enemy.
master, who gives you fair promises at least Their insensibility excited my highest to come to him ? Surely, my friends, of compassion, and blotted my own uneasi. all stupidity in the world, his must be the ness from my mind. It even appeared a greatest, who, after robbing a house, runs duty incumbent upon me to attempt to to the thief-takers for protection. And reclaim them. I resolved, therefore, once yet, how are you more wise ? You are more to return, and, in spite of their con- all seeking comfort from one that has tempt, to give them my advice, and con- already betrayed you, applying to a more quer them by my perseverance. Going, malicious being than any thief-taker of therefore, among them again, I informed them all; for they only decoy and then hang Mr. Jenkinson of my design, at which he you; but he decoys and hangs, and, what laughed heartily, but communicated it to is worst of all, will not let you loose after the rest. The proposal was received with the hangman has done.” the greatest good humour, as it promised When I had concluded, I received the to afford a new fund of entertainment to compliments of my audience, some of persons who had now no other resource whom came and shook me by the hand, for mirth but what could be derived from swearing that I was a very honest fellow, ridicule or debauchery.
and that they desired my further acquaintI therefore read them a portion of the ance. I therefore promised to repeat my service with a loud, unaffected voice, and lecture next day, and actually conceived found my audience perfectly merry upon some hopes of making a reformation here; the occasion. Lewd whispers, groans of for it had ever been my opinion, that no contrition burlesqued, winking and cough- man was past the hour of amendment, ing, alternately excited laughter. How- every heart lying open to the shafts of reever, I continued with my natural solemnity proof, if the archer could but take a proper to read on, sensible that what I did might aim. When I had thus satisfied my mind, mend some, but could itself receive no I went back to my apartment, where my contamination from any.
wife prepared a frugal meal, while Mr. After reading, I entered upon my ex. Jenkinson begged leave to add his dinner hortation, which was rather calculated at to ours, and partake of the pleasure, as he first to amuse them than to reprove. I was kind enough to express it, of my conpreviously observed, that no other motive versation. He had not yet seen my but their welfare could induce me to this; family; for as they came to my apartment that I was their fellow-prisoner, and now by a door in the narrow passage already got nothing by preaching. I was sorry, described, by this means they avoided the I said, to hear them so very profane ; be- common prison. Jenkinson at the first cause they got nothing by it, but might lose interview, therefore, seemed not a little a great deal: “For be assured, my friends," struck with the beauty of my youngest cried I, -"for you are my friends, how. daughter, which her pensive air contri. ever the world may disclaim your friend. buted to heighten ; and my little ones did ship,--though you swore twelve thousand not pass unnoticed. oaths in a day, it would not put one penny Alas, Doctor," cried he, "these chil. in your purse. Then what signifies calling dren are too handsome and too good for every moment upon the devil, and court- such a place as this !” ing his friendship, since you find how Why, Mr. Jenkinson," replied I, scurvily he uses you ?. He has given you thank Heaven, my children are pretty nothing here, you find, but a mouthful of tolerable in morals; and if they be good, oaths and an empty belly; and, by the it matters little for the rest." best accounts I have of him, he will give "I fancy, sir,” returned my fellow. you nothing that's good hereafter.
prisoner, that it must give you great “If used ill in our dealings with one comfort to have all this little family about man, we naturally go elsewhere. Were you."
"A comfort, Mr. Jenkinson!” replied honest simple neighbour Flamborough; I; "yes, it is indeed a comfort, and I and, one way or another, generally cheated would not be without them for all the him once a year. Yet still the honest world ; for they can make a dungeon seem man went forward without suspicion, and a palace. There is but one way in this grew rich, while I still continued tricksy life of wounding my happiness, and that and cunning, and was poor, without the is by injuring them.'
consolation of being honest. However,” "I am afraid then, sir,” cried he, “that continued he, “let me know your case, I am in some measure culpable ; for I and what has brought you here ; perhaps, think I see here (looking at my son though I have not skill to avoid a gaol Moses) one that I have injured, and by myself, I may extricate my friends." whom I wish to be forgiven.”
In compliance with his curiosity, I in. My son immediately recollected his formed him of the whole train of accidents voice and features, though he had before and follies that had plunged me into my seen him in disguise, and taking him present troubles, and my utter inability to by the hand, with a smile, forgave him. get free. "Yet,” continued he, “I can't help won- After hearing my story, and pausing dering at what you could see in my face, some minutes, he slapped his forehead, as to think me a proper mark for deception." if he had hit upon something material, and
“My dear sir,” returned the other, “it took his leave, saying, he would try what was not your face, but your white stock could be done. ings, and the black ribbon in your hair, that allured me. But, no disparage
CHAPTER XXVII. ment to your parts, I have deceived wiser
The same subject continued. men than you in my time; and yet, with The next morning I communicated to all my tricks, the blockheads have been my wife and children the scheme I had too many for me at last.
planned of reforming the prisoners, which “I suppose,” cried my son, " that the they received with universal disapprobanarrative of such a life as yours must be tion, alleging the impossibility and improextremely instructive and amusing.” priety of it; adding that my endeavours
“Not much of either,” returned Mr. would no way contribute to their amendJenkinson. “Those relations which de- ment, but might probably disgrace my scribe the tricks and vices only of mankind, calling. by increasing our suspicion in life, retard “Excuse me,” returned I ; "these
The traveller that distrusts people, however fallen, are still men; and every person he meets, and turns back upon that is a very good title to my affections. the appearance of every man that looks Good counsel rejected, returns to enrich like a robber, seldom arrives in time at his the giver's bosom ; and though the instrucjourney's end.
tion I communicate may not mend them, “ Indeed, I think, from my own expe- yet it will assuredly mend myself. If these rience, that the knowing one is the silliest wretches, my children, were princes, there fellow under the sun. I was thought cun- would be thousands ready to offer their ning from my very childhood: when but ministry; but, in my opinion, the heart seven years old, the ladies would say that that is buried in a dungeon is as precious I was a perfect little man; at fourteen, I as that seated upon a throne. Yes, my knew the world, cocked my hat, and loved treasures, if I can mend them, I will : the ladies ; at twenty, though I was per perhaps they will not all despise me. Per. fectly honest, yet every one thought me so haps I may catch up even one from the cunning, that not one would trust me. gulf
, and that will great gain ; for is Thus I was at last obliged to turn sharper there upon earth a gem so precious as the in my own defence, and have lived ever human soul?” since, my head throbbing with schemes to Thus saying, I left them, and descended deceive, and my heart palpitating with fears to the common prison, where I found the of detection. I used often to laugh at your prisoners very merry, expecting my ar
rival; and each prepared with some gaol legislative power would thus direct the law trick to play upon the Doctor. Thus, as rather to reformation than severity ; that I was going to begin, one turned my wig it would seem convinced that the work of awry, as if by accident, and then asked my eradicating crimes is not by making punishpardon. A second, who stood at some ments familiar, but formidable. Then, distance, had a knack of spitting through instead of our present prisons, which his teeth, which fell in showers upon my find or make men guilty, which enclose book. A third would cry Amen in such wretches for the commission of one crime, an affected tone, as gave the rest great de- and return them, if returned alive, fitted for light. A fourth had slyly picked my pocket the perpetration of thousands ; we should of my spectacles. But there was one see, as in other parts of Europe, places of whose trick gave more universal pleasure penitence and solitude, where the accused than all the rest ; for, observing the man- might be attended by such as could give ner in which I had disposed my books on them repentance, if guilty, or new motives the table before me, he very dexterously to virtue, if innocent. And this, but not displaced one of them, and put an obscene the increasing punishments, is the way to jest-book of his own in the place. How mend a State. Nor can I avoid even ever, I took no notice of all that this mis- questioning the validity of that right which chievous group of little beings could do, social combinations have assumed, of capi. but went on, perfectly sensible that what tally punishing offences of a slight nature. was ridiculous in my attempt would excite In cases of murder, their right is obvious, mirth only the first or second time, while as it is the duty of us all, from the law of what was serious would be permanent. self-defence, to cut off that man who has My design succeeded, and in less than six shown a disregard for the life of another. days some were penitent, and all attentive. Against such, all nature rises in arms; but
It was now that I applauded my per- it is not so against him who steals my proseverance and address, at thus giving sen- perty. Natural law gives me no right to sibility to wretches divested of every moral take away his life, as, by that, the horse feeling, and now began to think of doing he steals is as much his property as mine. them temporal services also, by rendering If, then, I have any right, it must be from their situation somewhat more comfortable. a compact made between us, that he who Their time had hitherto been divided be- deprives the other of his horse shall die. tween famine and excess, tumultuous riot But this is a false compact ; because no and bitier repining. Their only employ- man has a right to barter his life any more ment was quarrelling among each other, than to take it away, as it is not his own. playing at cribbage, and cutting tobacco And besides, the compact is inadequate, stoppers. From this last mode of idle and would be set aside, even in a court of industry I took the hint of setting such as modern equity, as there is a great penalty chose to work at cutting pegs for tobacco- for a very trifling convenience, since it is nists and shoemakers, the proper wood far better that two men should live than being bought by a general subscription, that one man should ride. But a comand, when manufactured, sold by my ap- pact that is false between two men, is pointment ; so that each earned something equally so between a hundred, or a hun. every day--a trifle indeed, but sufficient to dred thousand ; for as ten millions of maintain him.
circles can never make a square, so the I did not stop here, but instituted fines united voice of myriads. cannot lend the for the punishment of immorality, and re- smallest foundation to falsehood. It is wards for peculiar industry. Thus, in less thus that reason speaks, and untutored than a fortnight I had formed them into nature says the same thing. Savages, that something social and humane, and had the are directed by natural law alone, are pleasure of regarding myself as a legisla- very tender of the lives of each other ; tor, who had brought men from their native they seldom shed blood but to retaliate ferocity into friendship and obedience.
former cruelty. And it were highly to be wished, that Our Saxon ancestors, fierce as they were
in war, had but few executions in times of very little blood will serve to cement our peace; and, in all commencing govern- security. ments that have the print of nature still
CHAPTER XXVIII. strong upon them, scarce any crime is held capital.
Happiness and Misery rather the result of Prie
dence than of l'irtue in this life; temporalevils It is among the citizens of a refined com- or felicities being regarded by Heaven as things munity that penal laws, which are in the merely in themselves trifling, and unworthy hands of the rich, are laid upon the poor.
its care in the distribution. Government, while it grows older, seems I HAD now been confined more than a to acquire the moroseness of age; and, as fortnight, but had not since my arrival if ur property were become dearer in pro- been visited by my dear Olivia, and I portion as it increased—as if the more greatly longed to see her. Having comenormous our wealth the more extensive municated my wishes to my wife, the next our fears—all our possessions are paled morning the poor girl entered my apartup with new edicts every day, and hung ment, leaning on her sister's arm. The round with gibbets to scare every invader. change which I saw in her countenance
I cannot tell whether it is from the num- struck me. The numberless graces that ber of our penal laws, or the licentiousness once resided there were now fled, and the of our people, that this country should hand of death seemed to have moulded show more convicts in a year than half the every feature to alarm me.
Her temples dominions of Europe united. Perhaps it were sunk, her forehead was tense, and a is owing to both; for they mutually pro- fatal paleness sat upon her cheek. duce each other. When, by indiscriminate “I am glad to see thee, my dear,” cried penal laws, a nation beholds the same I; “ but why this dejection, Livy? I hope, punishment affixed to dissimilar degrees of my love, you have too great a regard for guilt, from perceiving no distinction in the me to permit disappointment thus to unpenalty, the people are led to lose all sense derinine a life which I prize as my own. of distinction in the crime, and this dis. Be cheerful, child, and we may yet see tinction is the bulwark of all morality: happier days." thus the multitude of laws produce new
You have ever, sir,” replied she, vices, and new vices call for fresh re- “been kind to me, and it adds to my pain straints.
that I shall never have an opportunity of It were to be wished, then, that power, sivaring that happiness you promise. Hapinstead of contriving new laws to punish piness, I fear, is no longer reserved for me vice; instead of drawing hard the cords of here; and I long to be rid of a place society till a convulsion come to burst where I have only found distress. Indeed, them; instead of cutting away wretches sir, I wish you would make a proper sub. as useless before we have tried their utility; mission to Mr. Thornhill; it may in some instead of converting correction into ven- measure induce him to pity you, and it geance, -it were to be wished that we will give me relief in dying.” tried the restrictive arts of government, 'Never, child,” replied I;
never will and made law the protector, but not the I be brought to acknowledge my daughter tyrant of the people. We should then find a prostitute; for though the world may that creatures, whose souls are held as look upon your offence with scorn, let it dross, only wanted the hand of a refiner: be mine to regard it as a mark of credulity, we should then find that creatures, now not of guilt. My dear, I am no way miserstuck up for long tortures, lest luxury able in this place, however dismal it may should feel a momentary pang, might, if seem ; and be assured, that while you properly treated, serve to sinew the state continue to bless me by living, he shall in times of danger; that as their faces are never have my consent to make you more like ours, their hearts are so too; that few wretched by marrying another." minds are so base as that perseverance After the departure of my daughter, my cannot amend ; that a man may see his fellow-prisoner, who was by at this interlast crime without dying for it ; and that view, sensibly enough expostulated on my