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regards security, it is perfect; while in point of occonomy it is highly objectionable, since it not only requires a considerable sum to maintain the prisoner, and occasions the entire loss of all the gains which he would otherwise have realised during the time of his confinement, but since it very frequently abolishes those habits of industry which he before possessed. With respect to equality, it is also eminently defective. Its inequality is most striking in the cases of a valetudinarian and a healthy person, of the father of a family and a single man, of one who is accustomed to every species of enjoyment and of one who has always lived in misery : but, although thus unequal, Mr. B. justly observes that it has a considerable effect on all men. No person can be insensible to the privation of liberty and to the interruption of habits, and, above all, his social habits. This punishment the author admits to be faultless in respect to divisibility; and it would, he thinks, be eminently exemplary on the plan which he proposes. "The aspect alone,' he tells us, of the habitation of penitence, ought to strike the imagination, and awake a salutary terror. The buildings destined for this purpose ought to have a character suited to their nature, which should give the idea of confinement and of constraint, and preclude all hope of escape; they ought, as it were, to enuntiate, “ Behold the residence of crime.”
In the simplicity of its description, this punishment cannot be exceeded. The word prison is perfectly comprehended by persons of all ages and degrees.
This species of punishment, the author says, in order to have its utmost efficacy, should in certain circumstances and for a limited time be accompanied by three other sorts of punishments, those of solitude, obscurity, and a given diet. Beccaria has said, “ Non é l'intenzione della pena, che fa il maggior effetto sull'animo umano, ma l’estenzione de essa ; perchè la nostra sensibilità è più facilmente, e stabilmente mossa da minime, ma replicate impressioni, che da un forte, ma passagero movimento.” (Dei Delitti e Delle Pene, sect. 16.) This position is carried to an undue extent by the Italian philosopher, as is elsewhere shewn by Mr. Bentham : but, properly limited, it is founded in the philosophy of the mind, is an important and practical maxim, and pervades the whole of Mr. Bentham's reasoning on this subject.
• Amendment,' he says, depends less on the greatness of the punishment, than on the association which the mind forms between it and the crime. It is in this view that solitary punishment excells. Acute pains, while inflicted, leave no room for reflection. The actual suffering absorbs the whole attention. If any mental emotion
mixes itself with the physical pain, it is a feeling of resentment against the accuser and the judge. When the torment ceases, and the sufferer is set at liberty, he does all in his power to forget the pain, and every thing around him tends to banish from his mind those reflections on which reformation depends. The pain is at an end, and is succeeded by a sensation of lively joy which is little favourable to amendment : but, in a state of solitute, man left to himself does not feel those emotions to which society gives birth; he has no longer that variety of ideas which results from the conversation of his equals, from the view of external objects, and from the pursuit of his affairs and his pleasures. Deprive him of light, and the number of his impressions will be still farther diminished; his mind then becomes a void ; he loses the support which he derives from his passions ; and he feels his weakness. Let moderate abstinence be farther interposed, and the vigorous activity which is found in ardent temperaments is deadened, and a languor highly favorable to moralreflections is superinduced; while this state of pain is not sufficient wholly to occupy his mind, and to take from him the power of reflecting on his situation : on the contrary, he feels more than ever the need of calling to his aid all the ideas which his present condition suggests, and he naturally falls into that train which presents to his mind the events, the evil councils, and the first steps that led to the crime, the chastisement of which he is enduring ; a crime of which all the pleasures are past, and which has left behind it only the evil consequences which he is suffering. He recalls to view those days of innocence and security which he formerly enjoyed, and contrasts them with his new situation. His regrets fix themselves on his past errors; and if he has a wife and children, and near relations, sentiments of affection towards them revive in his mind, accompanied by remorse on account of the ills which he has occasioned to them. The state of mind thus created is particularly favourable to reli. gious influence. In the entire absence of all pleasures and external impressions, the thoughts of religion assume a new empire over the soul. Struck with his misfortune, and with the combination of events and circumstances which brought his offence to light, his thoughts are led to that Providence, which has caused all his precautions to fail. He considers that if it be God who punishes, God can save; and he then reflects on the promises and threats of the same infinite Being ; promises which open a perspective of endless happiness to the penitent, and denunciations which in his case seem already begun to be realized in the dark and dismal solitude in which he finds himself. A man must be cast in a different mould from other men, if he refuses all access to religious feelings in a situation so full of gloom. Darkness alone has a strong tendency to dispose the mind to conceive of or to imagine the presence of invisible beings. Whatever may be the reason of it, the fact is incontestible, and is universally admitted. When the sensitive faculty is without action, the imagination labours, and begets phantoms. The early impressions of infancy, spirits and ghosts, revive in solitude. This may be a reason that such a state should not be too much prolonged, because it may turn the brain, and produce an incurable melancholy : but the first effects which it occasions are good. + 12
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• A minister of religion, who skilfully avails.lıimself of this proe pitious situation, who comes to pour the balm of religious instruction into the humble and abashed mind of the offender in this state, will be the more likely to obtain success, since he will appear as the only friend of the unhappy individual, and will be deemed by him his benefactor."
Mr. Bentham advises that, for a time, the rigors of this groupe of accompanying punishments shoul: not be abated, if it be an object to produce reformation. They mutually, he observes, assist each other. It is not sufficient, he thinks, that the nourishment should be reduced to that which is simply necessary, but it ought to be rendered bitter to the taste, in order to produce a penal effect; otherwise, in young and vigorous subjects, the pleasure of satisfying the mere appetite might compensate for all other deficiencies.
• The effect of solitary imprisonmert is not,' Mr. B. remarks, • a mere theory ; it is supported by facts the best authenticated. Mr. Howard, speaking of the condemned cells in Newgate, says, “ I have been informed by those who have long witnessed these scenes, that criminals, who have affected the most intrepid air while the process against them was going on, and who shewed no signs of sensibility on hearing the sentence of death pronounced on them, have been struck with horror and shed tears on entering these dark and solitary dungeons." Mr. Hanway also relates, on the authority of the magistrate who superintended the prison of Clerkenwell, that all the prisoners shut up in the solitary apartments had, in a few days, shewn extraordinary signs of repentance.'
The exposure of the present practice of promiscuous imprisonment, as drawn by Mr. Bentham, is an admirable picture, sketched with great force, and to the life; and if the ideas are excellent, they do not suffer from the terms in which they are expressed and the language in which they are clothed by M. Dumont. The passage, however, does not admit of abridgment, and our limits will not allow us to insert it entire : but we repeat that it forms a picture that ought to be well considered by all those who are friendly to the removal of abuses, and whose situations enable them to assist in such excellent undertakings. Nevertheless, we must attempt to lay before our readers one short passage in this excellent view, the whole of which shews how minutely the author has informed himself of the ideas and feelings of the unhappy beings on whose treatment he so admirably writes.
• In most malefactors, especially in norices, religion is rather forgotten than destroyed; the impressions of it which they have received are weak, and easy to be effaced ; what becomes of them in the case of promiscuous imprisonment? The whole force of opinion is there directed against religious nctions. I do not mean to say that, in such a Lyseum, controversies and philosophical disputes are maintained
concerning the idea of a God, the truth of revelation, and the authen. ticity of the testimonies on which it rests. We have not in these places any Manichees, Hobbists, or Spinosists, nor any dogmatic professors of infidelity; no subtil disciples of Boulanger, Bayle, or Freret : but the arguments have only the more effect from being suited to the ca. pacity of the audience; the buffooneries of a humorous profligate will be sufficient logic for his comrades ; a satire on the ministers of religion will be a complete refutation of religion itself; and the boaster, who will loudly maintain that the base only suffer themselves to be intimidated by the threats of a future life, touches on a string with which the whole auditory is sure to be pleased.'
According to Mr. Bentham's opinion, three sorts of prisons should be established; the first for insolvent debtors, who are proved to have been guilty of no temerity or prodigality, and the prison for these persons should be one of mere detention : the second should be for malefactors, condemned to a temporary imprisonment; and the third, for those whose imprisonment is to be perpetual. The prison for detention should be for no other object; the second sort of prison should serve for correction and example; and to detention, hard labour should here be added. On the residents of the perpetual prison, should be inflicted a permanent mark of infamy. A decisive difference should exist between the prisons, which should be manifested by their external appearance, by the dress of the inmates, and by the names of the places. The one the author would call simply the house of confinement; the second, the penitentiary prison; and the last, the black prison.
With the same ability and originality, Mr. B. treats the subjects of local confinement and of punishments merely restrictive. Queen Anne of Austria is said to have at once enacted and inflicted a punishment of this kind, which may be considered as very appropriate. Madame de Montbason had grossly misbehaved herself towards the Princess of Orange ; of which the Queen being informed, she ordered that Madame should never appear at any assembly at which the Princess was present.
• The laws of England (says Mr. Bentham) offer some ex. amples of restraints imposed on persons who are not considered as de. linquents. All who refuse to take the sacrament, according to the ceremonies of the Church of England, are excluded from public of. fices; though, in point of fact, many persons not of the Church of England hold civil and military employments under the bill of in. demnity which is annually passed. It is a precarious security, but the usage of a century takes away all distrust.
· These restrictions are not set up as punishments, but are cón. sidered as precautions, to prevent indiviuuals of a certain persuasion from holding situations in which it is foarcd they would be dangerous 67
This at least is the reason assigned; while religious animosity was the original cause of it, it was an act of antipathy.
Another motive is Interest. The exclusion of the one is the be. nefit of the other of the two parties. The right, by being restricted to a less number, becomes more advantageous to those who enjoy it ; · and thus that which originated in religious hatred is maintained by injustice. An erring conscience set persecution on foot, and the love of gain and avarice continne it when the original motive has ceased. This is exactly the case of Ireland, where restrictive laws towards the Catholics are maintained in order to benefit the Protestants, and in which one million out of four holds a monopoly of power and lucrative places. When the persecuting laws are become privileges to the persecutors, it is extremely difficult to abolish them. Cupidity for a long time shelters itself under the mask of religion.
• Although these restrictions are not established as punishments, and although a general restriction has nothing offensive in it to the particular individual, a distinction results from it which is injurious to a whole class of persons, since it supposes them to be dangerous and ill-intentioned. It is a singling out, which subjects them to public prejudice ; and the legislator who enacts these incapacities, though frequently he merely acquiesces in spite of himself in a temporary hatred, fortifies it, and renders it permanent. These are the remains of a malady which has been universal ; and which, even after it has been healed, leaves deep scars behind.'
We were unwilling to withhold from our readers the view in which the attempt to deny to the Irish population their civil rights appears to the penetrating genius of Mr. Bentham; and they will see that this perverse conduct, which gives such lively concern to all liberal and enlightened men, and which may prove of incalculable detriment to the empire, is considered by him as having originated in fanaticism and as being kept up by avarice.
[To be continued.]
Art. XI. The Situation of Great Britain in the rear 1811. By
M. de Montgaillard, Author of Remarks on the Restoration of the Kingdom of Italy by the Emperor Napoleon ; of the Right of the Crown of France to the Roman Empire, &c. Translated from the French. 8vo. Pp. 225. gs. Boards. Sherwood and Co.
1812. In many of our reviews of French publications, we have, of 1 late years, had occasion to observe a display of wonderful satisfaction with the Imperial Ruler, and a happy rivalship in eulogizing his wisdom and grandeur. Scarcely any book has come into our hands without containing, in some part, its tribute of panegyric, however foreign the praise of military and political feats might be to the main object of the work.