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sending a circular to every prison, the Secretary of State had consulted a certain Dr. Good, who never was in a House of Correction above twice in bis life, the deleterious consequences of the Wheel would have been established, by such a chain of evidence as the world has seldom seen, The subject must evidently be submitted to one of Mr. Bennett's Gaol Committees, and with a view of facilitating their labours, we subjoin the heads of Sir John Hippisley's Case.
Proof the First.— Tread-wheel machinery was formerly employed by the East India Company, and discontinued last summer. Why, this deponent knoweth not.
Proof the Second.—The prisoners working in the Mill at Coldbath Fields, have had four somersets in three months, and ought to have been severely hurt, but they all most provokingly escaped.
Proof the Third.The working is so fatiguing that it is
Proof the Fifth.—The work is too fatiguing for females.
Proof the Sixth. ---It is by walking up hill upon tip-toes that mariners and miners become liable to varicose veins. This important fact is investigated at great length.
Proof the seventh. Prisoners labouring under consumption and other bodily infirmities cannot safely tnrn the wheel.
Proof the eighth. The unhappy culprits have a horror of the Mill.
Proof the ninth. The labour is not proper for women. This proof had occurred before, but it is a very strong fact and worth repeating.
Proof the tenth. All the work done in a mill is the same in kind and in degree.
Proof the eleventh. The Tread Mill is a very bad thing.
Proof the twelfth. The. Hand-Crank Mill is much better. A respectable octavo volume is devoted to the developement of these facts, and we subjoin a few extracts from the evidence of Dr. Good.
t6 When about a twelvemonth ago you first asked me to accom. pany you in examining the machine in the House of Correction in Cold Bath Fields, and in comparing it with the Hand-Crank-Mill, I confess the subject was new to me; and hence, if I went without information, I went without prejudice. Yet, upon investigating its history, I soon ascertained that it was itself of so recent an origin in its application at least, that if I had travelled over the ten or
eleven counties (for there were not more) in which the Tread. Wheel was at that time employed, and had examined every prison separately, its operation would have been too narrow and of too limited a duration to have enabled me to speak of its effects with much decision from the evidence of practice, and have driven meto reasoning upon them from the nature of its powers and their application to the human frame." P. 25.
* Froin the tortuous attitude and uneasy motion manifestly dis-i played in mounting the endless hill of this mighty cylinder, upon the toes alone, with the hands fixed rigidly on the horizontal bar, and the body bent forward to lay hold of it, I could not but con. clude not only that the prisoner is hereby deprived of all the healthful advantage of athletic exercise, but must be fatigued from the outset, and perpetually in danger (and with this limitation I expressed myself,) of cramp, breaking the Achilles tendon, and forming aneurismal and varicose swellings in the legs.” P. 26.
" To ascertain, however, whether any actual change has in any way been produced in the effects complained of since our visit of last year, I have once more accepted of your invitation, and at the time of writing this, have just returned from the House of Correction at Cold Bath Fields, to which I had the honour of being accompanied both by yourself and Mr. Cole", who took a part in the examination we entered into, and to whom I appeal, as well as to yourself, for the accuracy of the following brief account of it. The Wheels were at work on our arrival in all the yards, still idly expending their power, and that of their workers, 'in the air t. The hour was half past eleven in the morning, the thermometer at 60° Fahrenheit, with a cool and gusty breeze, which many have complained of as being chilly, veering from nortli to south-west. We examined the subterranean machinery, which, with the ponderous fly above, was working at a fearfully rạpid rate, notwithstanding the slow-paced motion of the principal shaft. The men were on duty on the Wheels in their respective yards, and the report is true that the shaft has again broken, forming a fifth instance of failure; and other workers been again thrown upon their on the raised platform, and must in some instances have fallen through to the stone pavement, some ten or twelve feet below, had not the present vigilant Governor, in anticipation of such an accident, prudently ordered the middle hatch-ways to be closed f. I inspected the men as they descended in rotation, from the Wheel, at the end of the quarter of an hour's task-work, and made room for fresh relays. Every one of them was perspiring, some in a dripping sweat. On asking them separately, and
* Surgeon to the Northern Dispensary.
+ Vide note and description of Tread-Mill, by the Committee of the Society for the Improvement of Prison Discipline, p. 6.
I The hatch-ways are now removed to the end of the Galleries. Among other smaller casualties a woman fell down the hatch-waj, having previously fallen in'a fit, from the head of the Wheel upou the floor.
at a distance from each other, where was the chief stress of labour, they stated in succession, and without the least variation, that they suffered great pain in the calf of the leg, and in the ham ; while most of them, though not all, complained of distress also in the instep. On examining the bottom of their shoes, it was manifest that the line of tread had not extended farther than from the extremity of the toes to about one-third of the bottom of the foot; for, in several instances the shoes were new, and between this line and the heel, altogether unsoiled ; a fact, however, that was as obvious from the position of the foot, while at work, as from the appearance of the shoe at rest. Several of the workers seemed to aim at supporting their weight by bringing the heel into action, the feet being twisted outwards; and on inquiring why this was not oftener accomplished, the reply was, that though they could gain a little in this way, it was with so painful a stress of the knees, that they could only try at it occasionally. The palms of their hands, in consequence of holding tight to the rail, were in every instance hardened, in many horny, in some blistered, and discharging water. The keeper, who accompanied us, admitted the truth of all these statements, and added, that it was the ordinary result of the labcur! and that use did not seem to render it less severe: for those who had been confined long appeared to suffer nearly, or altogether as much as those who were new to the work: thus confirming a remark I long since took the liberty of making to you, I mean that, when an organ is directed to any kind of labour, for which it is not naturally intended, no, perseverance will ever give it facility of action, or take off the original distress." P. 30.
The evidence respecting females is more to the purpose, but its edge is taken off by the concluding observation.
“ The palms of their hands here, as in the case of the males, were hardened, or horny, and in far more instances blistered, the leathery skin in some cases peeling off, and exposing a sore surface beneath. For all kinds of needle-work, and other delicate de. scriptions of manual labour, they seemed to be completely unfitted, and the keeper allowed that they were almost always rendered useless for such purposes.”. P. 34..
This is sufficiently entertaining, but it must give way to what Dr. Good calls his experimentum crucis, the prisoners in Lancaster Castle have been weigbed from time to time, or, in the Doctor's phraseology, " a pair of scales have been employed as a direct Sarcometer to determine the amount of struggle between the living powers of human flesh, and the destroying powers of the Tread Wheel.”
Now up to February last the prisoners bad gained weight at the rate of an ounce a day; but by bringing the history down to May, Dr. Good is enabled to prove that they have refunded their
ill-gotten flesh. His proof consists in the following note, and his commentary upon the evidence is altogether irresistible.
“Copy of a Letter from the keeper of Lancaster Castle to W. W.C. Wilson, Esq. M. P.
Lancaster Castle, 26th May, 1823. • Agreeably to your wish I beg leave to send herewith the average gain or loss of weight of the prisoners employed at the Tread-Wheel, Owing to my having occasion frequently to change the prisoners, on account of iheir removal to the hulks, or discharge from prison, or to make room for the refractory, I have not been able to bring my experiments to that nicety I could have wished, and should have done, had I been able to keep the same set of men at work for threc or four months together. From 10th February to 19 February, working 7 hours each day,
alb. 7oz. gain per man. 19th February to 4th March, (9 hours) gain oz. ditto. 24th March to 25th March, (10$ hours) lost 1 lb. ditto. 25th March to 28th April, (ditto) lost 21lbs. ditto. 28th April to 26th May, (10 hours) gain 1 lb. 8oz. ditto.
: There has been no alteration in diet. The prisoners have been kept solely on the prison allowance.
* As far as my experience goes, I am of opinion that the employment is very healthy, and I have not observed that this species of labour has had the slightest tendency to produce any specific complaint." P. 49.
“ While the pace is only a mile and a half, or a little more, for, the day, it appears that the strain on the muscles has not hitherto been found so mischievous as to make any inroad on the living principle; so that, as the prisoners are humanely fed upon a regimen which equals the richer scale of diet just laid down by the consulting physicians for the convicts in the Milbank Penitentiary, the ordinary functions of the body have not been interfered with, and the worki. ers have increased in weight from eight or nine grains to an ounce or an ounce and a half a day. But the moment the measure of labour is pushed on to two miles a day, the whole system shrinks before it, and the prisoners WASTE AWAY at the rate of from a POUND to nearly A POUND AND A HALF EVERY THREE WEEKS.
There are a few anomalies in the table, which ought probably to be referred to the state of the weather at the time, and the degree of perspiration, sensible or insensible, to which the temperature of the atmosphere must necessarily give rise, but the general fact is clear and unquestionable ; and the whole country is indebted to the wisdom and humanity of the visiting magistrates of Lancaster Castle for putting this machine to a trial, as well as allowing this fact to be given to the public.
“ Now what other labour under the sun, short of that of actual torture, to which men have ever been condemned, or in which they ever can engage, in the open air, has produced, or can be coq. ceived to produce, such a loss of flesh and blood." P. 48.
What flesh-consuming Shylocks are the patrons of the Mill! Who would not be a patient of Dr. Good? The loss of a pound in three weeks, would make his blood run cold. The loss of 24lbs. in the month of April overwhelms him with dismay. The recovery of one pound eight ounces in the more genial May, cannot alleviate his extrenie distress !!! Gentle reader, we do assure you upon our honours, that Sir John Cox Hippisley and Dr. Good bave compounded 228 pages of such stuff as this !
Art. IV. The Book of Fate, formerly in the Possession
of Napoleon, late Emperor of France; and now first rendered into English, from a German Translation, of an Ancient Egyptian Manuscript. Found in the Year 1801, by M. Sonnini, in one of the Royal Tombs, near Mount Libycus, in Upper Egypt. By 8. Kirchenhoffer, Fellow of the University of Pavia, &c. &c. &c. Tho Fourth Edition. 8vo. Pp. 68. 58. C. S. Arnold.
1823. It is not often that the world at large can hope to be put in possession of the secret key by which those who play extraordinary parts on the theatre of life, and sway at their pleasure the lesser puppets of their generation, have regulated their conduct: and in regard to the late Ex-Emperor of France it is a most fortunate circumstance that besides the confessions poured forth by himself to O'Meara and Las Cases, the public is now presented by Mynheer Herman Kirchenhoffer with a still more important and equally authentic elucidation of the springs which for the last 20 years have guided the destinies of Europe.
“It is well known,” says the Translator of the Book of Fate, in his Preface to his fourth edition, “that in 1801 many French Artists and Literati accompanied the first Consul in his famous expedition to Egypt.” Now, wherever the marvellous is concerned, it is as well that moderation should be put out of the question. We are not fond of half wonders : if an ox speaks it should never speak in the vulgar tongue, and is a ghost walks 'it should walk in some other costume than coat, waistcoat, and breeches. It is quite as it ought to be therefore, that the “ French Artists and Literati” should accompany the First Consul to Egypt in 1801 in order to find the Book of Fate; when in point of fact General Bonaparte (for he was no more during that expedition) returned from