Imatges de pÓgina
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There was not even an attempt at general incitements to good conduct. The female inspection; the only rough separation of prisoners assembled every morning in the classes and degrees of guilt was that of committee room to hear the Bible, and the tried from the untried. They slept sometimes a prayer, read by the matron or promiscuously in large companies. The one of the visitors. The women on being hardening and bebasing executions were dismissed, returned to their several employterribly frequent, and fresh prisoners were ments, says Mr. Gurney, with uniform perpetually pouring in.

order and quietness. The good effected by the

lady visitors Who can tell how far this extraordinary was almost instantaneous. The most de- change in the female prisoners of Newgate praved and abandoned prisoners, with that was real? The outward result there was hard-earned knowledge of the world they no disputing. The women became espehad earned by blood and tears, felt at once cially honest among themselves. In no how pure and unselfish these ladies were. less than one hundred thousand mannThe most debased and cynical could dis- factured_articles of work not one cover only one motive for the conduct of stolen. Even a still more satisfactory proof those who brought the cup of cold water of the good effected was the great decrease in His name.

The stormiest heart was in the number of recommitments, only found still able to throb at a kind word, a four prisoners having been reconvicted pitying look, an act of kindness. The from 1817 to 1819; these criminals on lowest of the criminals soon began to their return evincing a strong sense of unconform to the new standard; the scene easiness and shame. Many of the poor changed; the worst women became quiet women who left were kept under supervision and gentle, orderly and industrious, neater by members of the committee, and were and cleaner, their very countenances im- found to preserve a good character, obtainproved and softened. They would sit ing places as servants, or earning an honest for hours with the ladies who visited New- livelihood at home. Several of the women gate, and behave with perfect decorum. on their discharge received small loans to Many learned to read; others became dex- help them forward, and these loans they terous at knitting and needlework, all, by repaid by most punctual weekly instalsome means or another, were busily em ments. At the end of 1817 a return was ployed. Two of the committee, if possible, made, at the request of the benevolent together, visited the prison daily, and be- T. F. Buxton, of the recommitments on came acquainted with the cases of indi- the “male side” of Newgate. It then apvidual prisoners. Women who had entered peared that, out of two hundred and three Newgate in rags or half naked, were men, forty-seven of those convicted had decently clad, either by aid of their own been confined there before within the two earnings or at the expense of the associa- preceding years. The returns on the fetion. The vilest grew more self-respecting male side since the Ladies’ Association The prisoners' patchworks, spinning, and civilised that part of the prison, are not knitting were sold for them, and if possible more, as compared with the male side, than part of their earnings set by to accumulate as four are to forty-seven. Before the for their benefit when they returned to angels of mercy came in Quaker garb, the the world. Schools were started for the returns on the female side used to be, comchildren and for the grown-up women. pared with those of the male side, as three The governesses were chosen from the are to five. And all these great results are more intelligent, and steady, and persever- the effect of a little kindness, and a little ing of the prisoners. A capital system Christian charity. of supervision was also established: Over every twelve or thirteen women a matron

DROWNED. was placed, who was answerable for their work, and kept an account of their con- Stood watching at the place of tryst, duct.

A ward woman attended to the For him who came not; till at last cleanliness of the wards, a yard woman

Uprose from earth, the night's chill mist;

And wistfully she fixed her eyes maintained good order in the yards, and Upon the pale stars in the skies. the sick-room was ruled by a nurse and an

The lindens shivered in the breeze, assistant. These officers were selected

The cold East breeze, though it was June, from the most orderly and respectable of As sometimes an Æolian harp, the prisoners, and they received extra

Sounds one false concord out of tune;

And o'er her heart, there crept a chill, emolument. These situations were great A prescience of coming ill.

A MAIDEN on a summer eve

The white owl hooted his refrain,

James's Hall, in Piccadilly, and winter and Weird prophet, from the ivied tower ; The jackdaw, from the belfry loft,

summer, spring and autumn, day and Echoed the striking of the hour.

night, there is something going on there. Ten strokes! And with a tear-stained face, Let us take the winter season first. To Homeward her way she 'gan to trace.

the average London man, who takes his Drowned ! he was drowned that afternoon, pleasures with a proper amount of tran

Drowned in the loveliest of spots,
Upon the silver breast of Thames,

quillity, there is perhaps no period of the Amid the blue forget-me-nots.

year more thoroughly enjoyable than that For her, the maiden, all but wife,

between Christmas and Easter. Then the Went out, that eve, the star of life!

vigour gained during his autumnal holi

day is still fresh within him; he has been OUR HALL.

for a long time separated from his ac

quaintances, and even the dullest of them We are proud of our Hall, looking upon will probably have stolen some tolerably it as one of the features of London, and a new idea; he has been snipe-shooting in place of favourite resort for visitors from Ireland, or hunting in the shires, or trathe provinces. It is not a vestry-hall, though velling abroad in the wildest and most from time to time there are delivered in it primitive parts available, and he returns speeches as fullof sound and fury, and as sig- to the charms of civilisation with innificant of nothing, as are bawled forth increased appreciation and infinite gusto. any parochial parliament. It is not, strictly Then comes the cosey dinner, either at the speaking, according to the common accep club or with a small, well-selected party tation of the term, a music-hall, though (you can never get just the people you in it the best works of the greatest mas- want during the season), with the fire. ters are constantly performed by the most light and the candle-light gleaming off finished executants. It is not a floral-hall, plate and glass, throwing a pleasant glow though in it we have seen a splendid dis- on surrounding pictures and furniture

, play of fruit and flowers, nor a dining-hall, and shedding everywhere an air of comthough the lively turtle, who gambol in fort, infinitely superior to all the elegance its lower windows, are sacrificed and eaten of flower and fruit decoration to be met within, nor a discussion-hall, nor a tem- with later on. Then is the time to nestle perance-hall , nor a medical-hall

, which in the comfortable stall or the snug priseems to be modern English for a chemist's vate box. Then is the time when certain shop. Its uses are various. When Miss columns of the newspapers teem with adNorah O'Flaherty gives her annual concert vertisements, announcing the return to on St. Patrick's Day-on which occasion England of some of the most distinguished such numbers of her gallant countrymen members of the musical profession, and rally round her to cheer the national airs when the professionals themselves can be strung together in the Och Hubbaboo heard at their freshest and their best, before Quadrille-she hires our Hall for the pur- they are hand-benumbed, brain-weary, or pose. When the Reverend Thrashem Wigg voice-worn by the exigencies of the Lonpours out the vials of his wrath on the don season. gaily-dressed lady who dwells in the city Five minutes to eight o'clock on a damp; erected on seven hills, nothing smaller than misty, muggy, January night. The Regentour Hall can contain the ladies and gentle street entrance to St. James's Hall blocked men who flock in from Clapham, to glory with vehicles, cabs for the most part, but in the denunciation of the lady in question, with a good sprinkling of private carriages; and of the old gentleman in the skull cap, very few rakish broughams, but the family who is her aider and abettor. Readers, landau, with the footman, whose great-coat entertainers, concert givers, people who go never fits him ; the roomy clarence, set off about with giants and dwarfs, and who by the silver-hat-banded page-boy; and the used to be called showmen, but who are common domestic fly, which seems to have now euphuistically styled “entrepreneurs," long since given up pretending to be a promoters of fancy fairs, and horticultural private vehicle, are here in every variets. shows, billiard champions, and everybody Stand aside while Mrs. Pocklington Snodby who has anything to exhibit or expound, and the two Miss Snodbys, who have been and who require a handsome, large, and for the last three quarters of an hour boxed fashionably situated location—all come to up in their carriage on their way from our Hall, which was expressly built to suit Clapham Park, slither over the greasy their wants. For our Hall is the St. pavement, and are received at the door by

women.

young Mr. Gossett, of Wood-street, E.C., or cough when the programme was once who has been dining at his club, the entered upon, we will take advantage of Junior Patagonian, and faultlessly attired, the few moments left us to look around. lavender gloved and flower button-holed, The hall seems full in every part. In the is waiting to escort the ladies up the stairs. stalls the people are rustling and nodding, Room now if you please for little Lady and getting rid of any superfluous exciteQuibbs, pleasantest, brightest, kindliest of ment before settling down into that severe

If you know anything of the decorum which classical music always demusical world, and are anything like a mands; in the galleries, where morning decent age, you will recollect Lady Quibbs dress is for the most part the rule, they when she was Miss Lavrock, long before are taking off coats and cloaks, and seeing she married Sir Parker Quibbs, K.C.B., how the music-books with which many of when she and her sister used to sing at the occupants are provided can be wielded public dinners and the nobility's concerts, with the smallest amount of inconvenience, when they gave lessons in Bulstrode-street, while from immediately behind the grand Manchester-square, when Mrs. Von Bomm piano on the platform to the boundary used regularly to lend them her big draw. wall, the orchestra is black with human ing-rooms in Harley-street for their annual beings ranged in semicircles above each concert, and when they were worked hard other, tier after tier. and struggled bravely, and out of their Any of one's acquaintances in the stalls ? little savings had always a guinea to spare Several of course. The small wiry gentleman for any miserable member of “the pro- with the thin beardless cheeks, the bright fession.” Lucy Lavrock is dead now, and sunken eye, theclose-cropped hair, is Mr.JusMartha is Lady Quibbs, rich and happy, tice Judex, now the dignified and impartial though childless ; she now works as hard judge, erst the bold and brilliant advocate, at doing good as she used to do in teaching the lucid reasoner, the silver-tongued orator, singing, is the most modest, unassuming, the wary tactician in debate. Throughout dearest little Lady Bountiful that ever his life he has been foremost in everything; lived, and is still so devoted to music that in the hunting-field and the boudoir he you may be sure of finding her wherever has been as much at home as on the bench; anything good is to be heard. Let us but music is the one passion of his life to mingle with the crowd which, steadily in which he has been most constant. During creasing in bulk, has been ever passing the whole of the day just past he has been onwards while we have been waiting here, listening to interminable arguments, wearyand which is composed of ladies and gen- ing in themselves, yet requiring the keenest tlemen, most of whom are in evening dress; attention, the most evenly-balanced intellet us go with them up the stairs and take lect; now, two minutes after the first notes our chance of the amusement in store for of the opening quintet strike upon us. It may be that we shall see those sable you will see him leaning back in his chair, minstrels, whose curiously and constantly his chin resting on his hand, his whole repeated boast it is that they have never soul rapt, enchanted, beatified. What to played out of London. We may have the him are sittings in banco and rules nisi ? luck to behold Mr. Farquhar Flote's What to him Themis in comparison with London Life, in which that distinguished Euterpe ? What to him the double-handed entertainer dives under the table every five sword of justice in comparison with the minutes, and swims to the surface again in horsehair bow with which M. Piatti is exquite a different character; or to hear Mr. tracting such ravishing sounds? Through Stentor read a selection from the Ballads the mind of that man, softened and atuned of British Bagmen. No, a different fate is by Mozart's wondrous melodies, what reours; when we arrive at the top of the miniscences may float! Thoughts of the staircase we follow on into the great hall, times ere he made his first coup, when he and, from a programme which is placed in was young and briefless, and sat in his our hands, we learn that one of the series shabby chambers awaiting the attorneys of instrumental and vocal performances, who would not come; perhaps even at known as the Monday Popular Concerts, days earlier than that—of the cathedral is about to commence.

city on the bright and shining river where As, from the determined aspect of the his boyhood was passed, and where he people in the immediate neighbourhood of would sit much as he sits now, fascinated our stalls, we should probably be instantly and entranced by the playing of the orput to death if we ventured to move, speak, ganist or singing of the anthem.

bis ear, The tall man sitting next to him is Mr. morning and tramp about from house to Frank Farrance, of the Home Office, who house, bearing neglect, insolence, contumely has been dining with Mr. Justice Judex, —the rage of spoiled children, the insults and who, while liking good dinners, and of vulgar parents, the contempt of pamproud to be taken notice of by his com- pered servantswho hammer away from panion, does not care much for music, and hour to hour at the rudiments of French occupies himself in making eyes at the and English, who strike the scarcely regoverness in Mr. Hoddinott's family, who sponsive notes of the dull piano with are seated close by. Great patrons of listless finger, and who, from year's end to music are the Hoddinotts: the eldest year's end, are running up and down the daughter, Jemima, having, under the scales, practising the eternal Czerny's expseudonym of Aimée, composed several ercises, and the immortal “A vous dirai-je." ballads, and the youngest son, with the In this series of concerts, and one or two long hair and spectacles, being shrewdly others equally good and equally cheap, lies suspected of being the Wolfgang, who the sole recreation in which these good withers the musical world in the columns people indulge. There they come, arriving of the Highbury Warder. And the He- at the same time, sitting, as I am told, nearly braic element is omnipresent; the De always in the same places, following note Lypeys, of Tavistock-square, and the Van by note all that is played or sung in the Sheens, of Woburn-place, fill up an entire music-books which they have brought with row, and sit, the males some curly and them; enrapt during the performance, ensome bald, the females some flat-banded, thusiastic at its close. The male denizens some frizzed, some ringleted, but all bland, of the orchestra are, for the most part, of shiny, and oleaginous, beating time and the same rank in life: small clerks and grunting deeply Little Mr. Moss, the shopmen, who, with other tastes, would be lawyer from Thavies Inn, is there too, and found in the music-hall or in the billiard. with him Mr. Moysey, the diamond 'mer- saloon, but who, curiously enough, seem chant from Amsterdam. As a rule, the to prefer the dreamy Glück to the Jolly female denizens of the stalls are not pretty, Bash, the sonata in A major to the spot the male occupants of the fauteuils are stroke. Here and there are traces of a not young-but all are intensely interested foreign element among them, but the in what is going on, and join together in majority are poor, simple, hard-working silencing any one who may dare to speak English people. The remainder of the with a deep and prolonged hish-h-h. The audience in the orchestra is recruited from same preoccupation and interest are notice- the ranks of the enthusiasts. Real“ fanaable in the galleries, where the people are tici per la musica” they would rather pay much of the ordinary stamp of theatrical stall price for a seat in the orchestra, than audiences, many of those amongst them a shilling for the best stall in the hall

. who are supposed to be in evening dress They can hear, it is true, in the body of wearing the skimpy little red opera-cloaks the hall. But in the orchestra they can and the feeble artificial flower so much in also see. They can watch Herr Joachim's vogue with the frequenters of the dress- nimble bow, they can greedily survey

the circle when the pieces played are not at fingering of Madame Arabella Goddard, tractive, but it is in the audience seated in and of Mr. Charles Hallé, and if any of the orchestra that the spectator will find these incomparable artists were to trip or his chief cause for speculation and won stumble (though, to be sure, the idea is derment.

preposterous) the orchestra enthusiasts There is no attempt at evening dress here; would be the first to note and to shudder the muddy boots of most of the men, the at the awful fact. draggled dresses of many of the women, show that they have walked hither in their As you enter, either from Piccadilly or work-a-day clothes, probably straight from Regent-street (for our Hall has two aptheir labours, to this their greatest recrea- proaches, though the first - named can tion. A shilling is the sum which each has scarcely be looked upon as worthy of it); paid for admission, and the most casual ob- you will have noticed among the mural servation would show that in many cases it advertisements a certain number of print was certainly as much as could be afforded. portraits of gentlemen attired in fanltless Here are pale, worn-looking women, gover- evening costume, with great development nesses by the day, the half-day, the hour, of shirt-cuff and watch -chain. who leave their mean lodgings in the early gentlemen, who are also remarkable for

These

room.

their heads of hair, and for their very the apartment for the spectators, while in thick moustaches, are the principals in the the centre of the room is a splendid bilband of nigger minstrels, which has been liard-table, on either side of which stand so long and so deservedly popular. There Crook and Dobbin, the antagonists, both is a stern, truculent, punch-your-head kind young men, remarkably well got up, in of expression in the portraits, which you evening dress, and with their coats off, can scarcely reconcile with the tender looking like two gentlemen in a club dresswarbling of “ Dey've laid her 'neath de ing-room about to wash their hands pregooseberry-bush," or the more pointed vious to dinner. The audience is an as

Wake up, ole Sal.”. But it is, semblage of heterogeneous particles; men perhaps, the burnt cork which softens from the "Rag,” and other military clubs, and refines all. Anyhow, it is certain men who once belonged to the * Rag,” that these minstrels, who, clever singers but who have now faded away into prothough they be, would certainly not have vincial towns, where they loaf their lives proved attractive for so long had they away in the billiard-rooms attached to the preserved their natural appearance, have hotels, and try to add to their narrow inbeen stationary at our Hall for years, and comes by pool practice. Keen-eyed men seldom or never sing to any but a full these, watching every stroke with intense

This is probably due to the fact interest, intent on “picking up wrinkles,” that they appeal to that large class of the and savagely objurgant against noise and public which, while musically uneducated, interruption of the play. Men about town, takes delight in soft and simple melodies; calm, cool, and insouciant, and lads from that the tenor voices are exceptionally the universities successfully copying their pure and sweet, and that the harmony of dress, and unsuccessfully aping their manthe chorus is excellent. It is to be re- ners; hunting-men from the shires, ap in gretted that the words of the ballads are town on account of the frost, frequenters very much inferior to the music, and that of Tattersall's, and the usual selvage and the endeavour to give local colour destroys fringe of openly-professed discounters, and the sentiment which is evidently intended. attorneys lending money in secret, which For instance, when one hears a singer utter always attends the meetings of any porsomething like the following:

tion of the sporting world. Dotted here Dey've laid her 'neath de gooseberry-bush,

and there amidst this motley crew are one or By de ole plantation's side,

two characters who, if they were recognised, De 'possum and de jackal sing

would be thought oddly out of place; an A requiem o'er my bride; De alligator swims around,

amateur artist of renown, a contributor of De walrus is at play,

dreamy philosophical articles to a weighty But my love will nebber more be found, I've lost my charming May.

periodical, a hard-headed civil engineer, CHORUS—Lost ! lost? my May, my charming, charming who is so much in demand one would have May, &c.

thought every minute of his time had it is impossible to be much affected, how been absorbed by his profession; there ever sympathetic may be, the voice and they are, apparently as intent upon the manner. As for the comic songs, they are game as the reporter of the Sporting about as ghastly as the usual run of such Press, who makes a memorandum of every ditties, but the conversations between Mr. telling stroke in his note-book. There is Bones and his chief are by no means un- plenty of drinking and smoking, but the amusing, more especially when they climax, game is carried on with perfect decorum, after an immense amount of yuck-yucking and almost in silence. Loud betting was and buffoonery, in the chief's suddenly at one time the practice, but it interfered dignified rebuke, “ Come, sir, no more of with the comfort of the players, and was this-Gentle Annie !"

put a stop to; now, occasionally, an enthuAlso in the winter, in our Hall, take siastic gentleman will intimate his desire place the great billiard-matches, at which to back his opinion by holding up his five both money and reputation are at stake, or ten fingers to a friend on the opposite and which are attended by all the principal side of the room, who responds with supporters of this now extraordinarily popu- promptitude, and the bet is booked. What lar game. The matches are held sometimes newspaper reporters of a police case indiin the large ball, but when that is occupied, cate by “sensation,” is expressed after a in a large square apartment situate in a re- failure which should have been a success mote corner of this apparently inexhaustible by a prolonged murmur of "a-a-ah,” and a building of ours. Tiers of seats surround specially clever stroke is loudly applauded.

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