« הקודםהמשך »
urged for Ireland is precisely that which the sharpest and most clear-headed man of this age, the Emperor of the French, is about to accomplish in his own State, the reclamation of the waste lands of France.
In the commencement of this paper we referred to the wretched system prevailing in the Irish Poor-houses, which sends out upon the world periodically, hordes of untaught, untrained, and debased "home-heathens.” If we were to reprint Swift's Proposal for Rendering Poor Children Beneficial Instead of Burdensoine ; if we were to present a copy of it to every elected and to every ex-officio Guardian in Ireland
were to dwell in conversation with the Poor-Law Commissioners, upon the delicacy of flavor of "a plump young girl of fifteen;" if we were to say to the South Dublin Guardians,“ supposing that 1000 families in this city would be constant customers for infants' flesh, besides others who might have it at merry-meetings, particularly at weddings and christenings, I compute that Dublin would take off annually about 20,000 carcasses ; and the rest of the kingdom where probably they will be sold somewhat cheaper, the remaining thousands" we should be considered mad-and yet, although the Poor Law Guardians will not fatten their young paupers for the table, although they will not sell their bodies to be eaten, yet they rear them ander a system which sends them forth upon the world ready for sale, in soul and body, to the tempter ; they send them forth without one principle to guide, without one thought to restrain them, they are truly
“ The dauntless infants never scared by God," each is that woful
“Child of misery baptized in tears." This subject of the management of poor-house-reared chil. dren has now become of vast and pressing importance; they increase the cost of our hospitals, they fill our gaols, and to punish them estimates under the head of “ Justice” in the estimates is vastly increased; whilst owing to them crime does not decrease as it should, and criminal reformation is almost hopeless amongst those reared in the poor-houses.
“I could,” said a poor-house Chaplain to us a few days ago, “recommend nearly all the girls in this house under fourteen years of age. After that age, they are moved amongst the adults, and they are lost.” “Our boys," said the master of a poor-house to us, " are good boys until they join the adults, aud then they go wrong." "The worst boys I ever met in my life,” said the school master of a large Convict Prison, are the poor-house boys : they are addicted to every vice you can conceive, and they have no idea of religion. They have never been taught to depend on themselves, they have had no inducement to work, and they know only two phases of life, that of the poor-house and that of the gaol.”
Now these opinions all go to prove, and to prove most clearly, that the ordinary work-bouse is not more fitted than the ordinary gaol for the management and care of juveniles ; they prove also, and prove beyond all question, that a poorhouse-reared boy or girl should never be permitted to enter the adult house until he or she shall bave tried honest work in the world without; and this result can only be secured by special establishments for the reception and training of pauper children, with special staffs, and not under the sole control of the Guardians.
Our meaning will be, perhaps, best elucidated by the following heads of a scheme which has been approved by very many Irishmen of ability and experience, and the framer of this scheme is eminently qualified to make it perfect and elaborate. A few days ago, (we are writing early in June), Mr. Macartney obtained a most important committee of inquiry, the results of which must bear directly upon this scheme, and will be, if we mistake not, fully in support of the views herein expressed.
The scheme is as follows :
1.—That the Juvenile Reformatory Bill for Ireland, now passing through the House of Commons is (perhaps necessarily) so confined in its operations as to leave a large portion of juvenile delinquency untouched.
2.—That in England where the Reformatory Acts have a far more comprehensive area to work apon, it has been found necessary to supplement such acts with an Industrial Schools' Act, passed last session.
3.—That in Ireland for similar reasons to those which made it expedient to confine the area of the Reformatory Bill, Industrial Schools are inapplicable.
4.—That it is therefore desirable to take some other means for preventing juvenile crime in Ireland.
5.—That the best means to effect this appears to be to improve the training of the “juvenile paupers,” who are for the most part the class from which young criminals emanate.
6.- That in order to succeed in such improvement it will be necessary to completely sever the connection with the adult paupers, and the work-bouses in which they are confined.
7.—That there is a section in the 11th and 12th Vict., Cap 25, giving the necessary power to combine unions for the purpose of forming District Pauper Schools for juveniles under 15 years of age, but that it is at present almost inoperative.
8.—That there are good grounds for supposing that on due consideration being extended to this subject a full recognition would be given to the moral and economical advantages which would accrue through the operation of this section.
9.-- That in England the salaries of the school-masters, school-mistresses, and one half of those of the medical officers are paid from the consolidated fand, amounting to considerably more than £100,000 per annum.
10.– That in addition to this grant in aid of the union in England, there are very large grants from the committee of council of education given to aid Reformatory and Industrial Schools under the head of capitation fees, rent of land, purchasing of tools, pupil teachers' allowances, &c., and an allowance of seven shillings per head is paid out of the consolidated fund for the support of juveniles in reformatories.
11.- That all prisoners convicted by jury in England are maintained at the cost of the state.
12.- That the grants required in aid of the proposed Reformatory Bill for Ireland, will be small in consequence of its limited area of operation.
13.—That it is on the above grounds fair to require that Ireland should receive from the consolidated fund the amount of the salaries of the instructors of the Juvenile Pauper Schools, together with such educational grauts and assistance as would be received by Reforinatory and Industrial Schools, for which the pauper schools are the substitute.
14.-That if this support be given by the state it will be easily proved to the boards of guardians, that under good management and government inspection the best moral and economical results will follow the establishment of these schools.
15.—That a part of such good management will be the industrial training of the young paupers, it is evident that in addition to a reduction of expenditure, a den and for their labour will be a consequence of its being skilled.
16.—That many of our colonies are arrested in progress for want of labour, and are advancing money from colonial funds to induce emigration, and it is reasonable to suppose therefore that skilled labour in the unions will induce the colonists to give free passages from time to time to the young in nates.
This scheme requires no argument or explanation to prove its importance, and we shall not, until we shall have the report of Mr. Macartney's committee before us, offer any observations in support of it. There are, however, facts and figures in our possession sufficient to prove not alone the soundness of the scheme, but likewise to prove the right of the country to claim from the consolidated fund the amount necessary to give it full efficacy.
We may, however, state that the Guardians of the South Dublin Union have indirectly given their support to this system here advocated, of separating the young paupers from the old ; that is, they have agreed to send, and have sent, sixty or seventy of the girls from the Poor-house to a large house adjoining the convent of the Sisters of Mercy in Baggot-street, where they are paid for at the same rate as a pauper costs in the Union House, the sisters taking the whole management, in fact making the house of reception for these girls an Auxiliary Poor-house.
When the sisters thus consented to take the charge of these girls they made only two stipulations. One, that Catholics only should be sent; the other, that they should not be obliged to take any girl known to have ever been a prostitute. But here the good sense of the Guardians failed, and instead of holding out to the girls a transmission to the Baggot-street house as a reward for good conduct, they actually refused to send any
but the very worst class ; and, accordingly, the establishment was opened with about as bad a lot as it was ever our misfortune to inspect. They were ignorant and untaught ; they had no sense of decency or self-respect; they had nearly all been reared in the Poor-house, and, as a matter of course, feared neither God nor man; many of them had been in gaol three or four times for work-house offences; and yet, by judicious, careful, kind management, and through the agency of that wonderful thing, INDIVIDUALIZATION, these poor creatures are now in a fair way of becoming useful, honest, hardworking women.*
It has by some persons been objected that this institution at Baggot-street is an encouragement to Popery; and there are many persons, guardians too, who would rather keep these girls in the Union House, with all its horrid sin, and corruption of soul and body, than send them to Baggot-street.
This, to English readers, will appear strange. Let them, however, remember that the vast majority of the people of Ireland are Catholic; let them, remembering this, read the following report of a Meeting, taken from a Conservative Dublin paper, Saunders's News-Letter, of Friday, June 18th, 1858, and they will be, perhaps, able to comprehend the hatred of Popery animus to which we have referred :
DUBLIN PROTESTANT ASSOCIATION. “A meeting of this body was held last evening in the Rooms, 83, Middle Abbey-street, for the purpose of adopting a petition against the bill brought into the House of Cominons by Mr. Sergeant Deasy and Mr. Bagwell, on the question of Reformatory Schools.
“ The Rev. S, G. Potter in the Chair, “Mr. John Martin, T.C., moved the adoption of the following petition, which was seconded by Mr. W. R. Furlong, and unanimously adopted : That your petitioners have read, with considerable alarm, a bill brought into your honorable house by the learned members for the County of Cork and Borough of Cloninel, (Mr. Sergeant Deasy and Mr. Bagwell), entitled " a Bill to Promote and Regulate Reformatory Schools for Juvenile Offenders in Ireland." That your petitioners are fully convinced that should the said bill be passed into law, the "Reformatory Schools" contemplated by its provisions would become mere depots of proselytism to the Roman
The sister who had the chief care of these girls was what is called “ Received” by the order, but not « Professed," that is, she had not taken the final vows. About the middle of June she was to take these vows, and was, as is the custom, going into « Retreat" for a week. The day before the Retreat commenced the girls remarked that she looked very anxious, and they asked her why she seemed sad. She replied that she should not see them during the best seven days, and feared that in her absence they might give the other sisters trouble. They all replied, “Oh! never fear ; we'll be good for the week,"—and they kept their words inost faithfully.