תמונות בעמוד

An incident in which a colun was concerned occurred very lately, which affected us too deeply for us to pass it over now in silence, He came to ask us as a mark of our esteem to lay the first stone of a house he was about to build at the village of Pernay, (Indre et Loire,) where he has resided for a long time past with his family. We most willingly yielded to his request, and on the appointed day found all the authorities of the district assembled on the spot. The clergyman, although suffering from illness, had exerted himself to be present at this interesting ceremony, and the eulogium he was pleased to pronounce on our pupil, joined to that of the Mayor, proved that our former colon is both a good Christian and an excellent citizen. The inhabitants of the place confirmed these praises by their applause, and every one withdrew deeply moved by this most touching scene. That evening when we again beheld the asylum where our young colon had acquired those habits of industry, order, and economy, whose happy results we had just witnessed, we could not refrain froin once more thanking PROVIDENCE for the joy we had experienced.

We endeavour as much as possible to place our lads in situations near us, that our influence over them may be the more direct and effective.

The little vessels which never go far from the shore, have less to fear from tempests than the ships which traverse the ocean; still when our lads wish to take a bolder flight we have no right to oppose them; and sometimes family circumstances make it even desirable. Thus it happened that young Dolbeau, by the desire of his father, went to New Orleans. This poor lad died soon after he landed, but he survived long enough for his excellent qualities to be appreciated. We subjoin a letter received from his father. He had previously written a most touching one to M. Blanchard, Inspecteur de la Colonie, in which he expresses his gratitude to all our excellent officers. But let the father speak :

“New Orleans, January 11th, 1857. “MONSIEUR LE DIRECTEUR,—This will inform you of the melancholy loss we have just sustained in the death of Mathieu Dolbeau, your pupil. After an excellent passage of forty days he appeared among us for a moment, and then vanished for ever. He lived fiftysix days in the colony, and died, after six days illness, of yellow fever. God has not willed that supreme happiness should exist on earth, and ours was of that kind which is not permitted here below.

“I never can sufficiently thank you for the good principles you gave him ; he was a good son, a good brother, and a good friend; and had already made himself beloved by all who knew him. Now he is with his MAKER, and prays for his friends; let his many schoolfellows remember him in their prayers, and from the depths of their hearts say for him a Pater and an Ave.

“Ever grateful for your care of him during his captivity, my son told me it was his wish to be inscribed as a founder of the Colony."

• A donor to the Institution of 100 francs (£4 ) or upwards, bas his name inscribed on the list of the Founders of Mettray, which is placed in the chapel of the institution, — Trans.

He intended to have earned the amount of this little gift himself; but since he is now removed from among us I beg to fulfil his promise. Please to tell me what it is which will serve to recall him always to the memory of the institution.

“Monsieur le Directeur be so good as to honour me with a reply, and believe me, for life, “ Your very humble servant,


“His most unhappy father.” Notwithstanding the gratification we feel, gentlemen, in publishing these letters, of which we possess a great number, we know we must limit ourselves, and will therefore conclude our extracts with the obliging communication of our worthy colleague, M. Marion, res. pecting the colon Mauny, who wished to renew his subscription." With pleasure we remind you of the fact that Mauny, having gone to Lima to make his fortune, sent, three years ago, two purses to M. Marion, each containing 100 francs. The packet bore this touching inscription :-_“For my two mothers.” Thus in the esteem and gra. titude of this excellent young man, Mettray holds a similar position with her to whom he owes his life :

“My DEAR DIRECTOR,—I hasten to forward to you the enclosed letter from your worthy colon Mauny. It has just been delivered by his mother-in-law, who also brought one for me. I am delighted to find that Mauny and his young family are in good health, and that their circumstances otherwise continue to be prosperous He commissions me to present to the Colony the sum of 100 francs--a fresh proof of his gratitude, which cannot fail to touch yon; it is intended also—so his letter expresses it—as a pious thankoffering to God for the health vouchsafed to himself and his family. The memory of Mettray, and the conviction of the benefit derived from his sojourn there, are deeply engraved in his heart, and when expressing to his mother. in-law his hope of returning to France, in two years' time, he spoke of the pleasure of visiting Mettray, as one of the greatest gratifications awaiting him. He is glad and proud to be reckoned among her former pupils. Mettray may as justly boast of the conduct of so worthy a fellow, who, thanks to your care, has been restored to an honest and industrious life.

“The 100 francs from Mauny are, then, at your disposal. Will you have the kindness to inform me how to transmit them. “ Always yours, my dear Director,

“ MARION. “ Nantes, July 26, 1857."

Although as regards the moral aspect of the Colony, we cannot but rejoice at the happy results obtained during the present year, PROVIDENCE has been pleased to inflict severe and heavy trials upon us, in the illness of our children.

Frequent cases of dysentery have occurred, brought on by the

• From the report for 1854 it appears that M. Marion is the patron of Mauny.--Trans.

extreme heat which has prevailed ever since the beginning of summer, and especially during the harvest season. The only effectual remedy for this disorder consists in a strict attention to diet, and our lads, rather than submit to the necessary regimen, concealed their indisposition, and would not go into our infirmary until there was but little hope left of cure. No malady makes it so imperative as this does, to avoid any excess with regard to food, and our boys are generally temperate; but, urged by hunger, they sought all possible means to escape our viligence in order to procure victuals, sometimes of the most injurious kind.

Notwithstanding the devoted care of our medical attendants, whose zeal we cannot sufficiently praise, and of which M. Parchappe, Inspector-General for the Minister of the Interior, has been pleased to express his high appreciation, we have with regret to inform you that fourteen of our colons have died. This is, indeed, a heary affliction, and, with you, we deplore so sad a loss. Still, it is small when it is considered how many were attacked by the disorder. The same epidemic committed much more fearful ravages in a neighbouring district, so that we may be thankful to Heaven that the scourge did not strike down a far larger number.

This mournful occurrance, like all in which courage and self-denial can be evinced, afforded our brave officers a new opportunity for distinguishing themselves. They would not permit a single strange nurse to be employed, and several of them voluntarily took up their abode in our hospital, quitting it only when the disorder had lost its

Our harvest operations were seriously affected by the unfortunate illness prevailing among our lads, whose strength we were obliged to economise. Nevertheless, we have the pleasure of informing you that the yield was most abundant.

We cannot touch upon the subject of agriculture, without profiting by the opportunity thus given us for expressing our well-founded gratitude to him to whom our success in this department must be attributed; we mean, of course, our excellent President, Count de Gasparin, He has written to inform us that notwithstanding the deep interest he takes in Mettray, he fears the state of his health will not permit

of his continuing to perform the duties of President of the Société Paternelle. Doubtless, you, gentlemen, will feel with us, that we cannot but make every effort rather than yield to a decision so mournful as this. Let us hope that our prayers may be heard, and that soon, restored to health, our beloved President will return, again to enlighten us with his counsels and rejoice us with h's presence.

Our manufacture of agricultural implements, which affords such important aid to our field operations, has, during the past year, been considerably augmented.

In conclusion, our esteemed treasurer has stated to you with his accustomed clearness, what our various workshops have produced, explaining also our financial position generally. By his very full report, you are enabled to estimate to their utmost extent the heavy expenses which weigh upon the Colony. Could they be less serious


after the calamities of the last three years ? Nevertheless we cannot but believe that, aware of the good effected by Mettray, the country will not permit you to be losers. Who could be indifferent to our appeal, when its object is to obtain the means of restoring to an honest life those unhappy children who have been deprived of it from their very birth, and of converting to the welfare of society the lives of those who before treatened its dearest interests ?

May our words serve to augment the satisfaction you must feel in having established so useful an institution ; for if there be no gratification more exquisite than that derived from doing good, so neither is there any which has a more just foundation. Directeur de la Colonie,

Conseiller Honoraire à la Cour Impériale de Paris,
Vice-President de la Société Paternelle.

['The original of the following little poem which is added to the Report, and illustrates an incident referred to therein, is from the pen of M. Paul Huot, a member of the French Bar, and author of “ Trois Jours à Mettray.”]


He was but eighteen years; that age so

When life seems one long day-dream of

And shows the future like a magic strand,
With goldeu fruit all ready for our hand.
What ecstasy the youthful bosom kno
When, like a brimming goblet, it o'erflows
With hopeandjoy! When happiness appears
A debt of heaven, due to those glad years!
When we seek all, love, glory, mistress,

When we believe that youth can never end,
And that some fairy with her magic powers
will guide our steps and scatter them with


Punish his crime, but do not let your hand
With endless shame the wretchid culprit

When the just penalty has once been paid
Let all be ready to afford their aid, -
To link afresh the bonds his sin has riven,
To lead the way to penitence and heaven.
And if this culprit be a child in years.
With no maternal hand to wipe his tears,
If he has never heard the ALMIGHTY'S

name, -

If from the dark abyss of sin and shame
No pitying voice has ever warned him

If none have guided him on virtue's track,
Say who will dare upon his brow to trace
A stigma time itself can ne'er efface !
No! rather teach him what he ne'er could

Teach him the good from evil to discern,
Teach him that e'en without a home or

friend, The honest man will struggle to the end. Ye whom kind fortune with ter gifts has

Of wealth, of knowledge, and of power

This be your part; your generous care will
From misery and disgrace this child of sin.
For such was Joseph. What avails to tell
All that his boy hood and his youth befell;
How early vice with its destructive blight
Sank on his soul and plunged it into night-
Who cares to listen to the weary tale?
No! better o'er the past to cast a veil.
Enough, he sinned ; the judge pronounced

The child of porerty knows no such dreams;
His fate is lightened by no golden beams :
Upon the tide of life's dark ocean flung,
The child of poverty is never young!
Gnawed by the ulcer of perpetual care. -
Scorned by that world which seems to us

so fair,
Each day the wearying task he must renew;
For if work fail him, bread will fail him too.
Happy the man who fearlessly can dare
This cruel doom, nor sink beneath despair;
Who greater than whatever woes befall,
Retains unscathed his virtue 'inid them all!
But if his brain beneath the load has

his doom,
Shut up at tirst in solitude and gloom,
In the abode of misery and crime,
With one to tell him that, with toil and


If, maddened, he should totter, nay, should

With hunger worn, with nameless ills beset,
If virtue's laws one moment he forget,
Oh ye who hold the balance and the sword,
Remember mercy in your just award !
Think! He has struggled, friendless and

Against temptations ye have never known.


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He yet his early errors might redeem;
That 'mid the darkness there remained a

Of hope ; that at his age we conquer fate
If we but learn to labour and to wait !
That for him, too, might dawn far happier

When he would dare his drooping head to

raise. At length one morn the dungeon's gates

unclose ;
Reckless of what awaits him forth be goes.
Mettray receives him. Here how changed

his fate!
No more does he behold the prison gate,
Which shut upon him grimly every night,
Excluding hope, and liberty, and light.
Now, when day dawns, the joyous matin

Waving and rustling 'mid the tall green

trees, Restores the virgin freshness to his heart, Blighted and seared. The walls which

seemed to part Him from the world are gone. His eye

may rove Unfetiered over hill, and dale, and grove,Over the wide fields, henceforward his

domain, Where his own hand may sow the golden

grain With which he will be fed. Soon will the day Arrive when he with honest pride may say, "This bread my hand has sown, and reaped,

and ground." No surly

gaolers now his steps surround, But kindly guardians pointing out the road That leads alike to virtue and to GOD. Such is Mettray. He dwelt there five long

years. But well employed, how short each day

appears! From bad he changed to good; from weak

to strong.
At length it came, the hour hoped for so long,
The hour which even there still seemed so

The hour of liberty; entire, complete.
The very master chosen. It was not ease
That Joseph sought; when some unknown

Fell on the boy ; the seeds, perhaps, were
In his sad childhood, or his dungeon lone.

The weary days of convalescence past,
His comrades gladly welcome him at last.
Once more at Mass his accents doth be raise
To Heaven in humble worship--grateful

When, like the thunder in the distant storm.

The tocsin sounds! Silent the childien forma Their ranks; they mareh, with calm, deter

mined will; They reach the spot; their courage and

their skill
Rescue the lives, the fortunes, which the

Had threatencd to devour! How many names
Deserve record! But 'mid the heroic band
Foremost in daring doth young Joseph

Exhausted with fatigue, with sudden pain
He sinks,-this time never to rise again.

He died at eighteen years, that age so

When life seems one long day-dream of

Showing the future like a magic strand,
With golden fruit all rea'iy for our hand.
The ecstasy the youthful bosom kdows
When, like a brimming goblet, It o erfoss
With hope and joy,--when happiness

A debt of heaven due to those gladsome

He never knew! His life was rent avay
Just at the moment when a brighter day
Dawn d on his fate ; just as his heart began
To feel, to know the duties of a man.
Upon his tomb, where many a blossom fair
With its soft perfume fills the sammer afr,
There bends the Angel of repentant

loveAnd Mettray counts its martyr too abore.

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At page xxii. of our last RECORD will be found the Report of the Calder Farm Reformatory for 1857. We have lately received a copy of the “System of Marks, Diet, and Time Tables," used in the school, and we place the document before our readers, believing that it will be found of very considerable importance in aiding those in Ireland who are about to establish Reformatory Institutions.

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