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on the contrary, there is rather a demand for them. The master alone is told the antecedents of his apprentice, all knowledge of the boy's past being kept as far as possible from every one else.
During the period of commitment, which usually lasts till twenty years of age, the effect of the sentence is merely suspended, so that if the child is hopelessly refractory, or falls again into the hands of vicious relatives, he can be sent to the "Etablissement" to which he was originally committed. A large number of the boys go into the army. Every Sunday the children still in charge of the Society come back to headquarters, where they find a change of underclothing, put on their Sunday suit, attend mass, and get their dinner. As a rule, very young children are not admitted; but when this is done, they are sent to a school kept by the sisters of St Katherine. The Society also gives shelter and finds work for hoys returning to Paris after their discharge from Establishments in the country. The work done in this way is said to produce most satisfactory results, the boys giving very little trouble, and mostly turning out well. Indeed it is obvious that the plan has, in theory at least, solved several difficult problems. It educates a young offender by kindness, without losing the possibility of a severer discipline, helps him materially and morally in his first struggles with life, and gives him something in the nature of a home that he may regard with affection and hesitate to discredit. Besides dealing with children who have been sentenced as above mentioned, the Society does good work in preventing committals, in cases where parents are respectable, by becoming, together with the parents, a security for the good be
haviour of the child, in which case the tribunals are willing to abstain from convicting.
A day or two after my visit to the Rue Mezieres, I put into my pocket a largo whitey-brown envelope, containing a letter in which the chief of the 4th Bureau prayed M. the Director of the Colonie Agricole of Douaires to
"receive M. A , and to give
him all the facilities that are necessary in view of the researches and studies to which he has the project of directing himself." Armed with this document, I descended from the train at a station called Gaillon. The town of that name stood some way off, picturesquely crowning the glacis of the valley. Seeing what looked like an old chateau converted into a public Establishment, I made sure it was my "Colonie ;" and was a good deal horrified on learning it was a prison, and a little spire in the very far distance was Douaires. However, I trudged manfully along the straight dusty road, through plains of tilth stuck here and there with apple-trees, till I reached Gaillon. There seeing some tolerably road-worthy looking vehicles standing outside a stable, I ordered one to be got ready at once and to follow, as I had to catch the afternoon train back to Paris. A smartlooking peasant said "he would garnish his horse immediately, but that it required time for all things." The time for his catching me up was of course just as I had surmounted the glacis aforesaid, and got on to the high plateau where Douaires stands. I mounted, and found a capital horse for France, at whom my driver emitted extraordinary sounds, partly made up, I imagine, of the animal's name, and partly of cries of encouragement. The man also found time for conversation, which chiefly turned on the cheapness of living at Gaillon, as compared with Paris. I wondered a good deal at this fancy for social science, till I found that my economist's general laws only applied to the "Soleil d'Or," an inn that turned out to be kept by his sister-in-law.
At length we stopped at the "Colonic." A row of pretty houses of brownish - white and whiteybrown brick stood in little gardens on each side of the approach, at the end of which was the chapel. On one side of this were the shops and stables, and on the other a large drill - ground. My jehu knocked at the door of the Director's bureau, and after presenting my letter, I sat down and had a talk with that officer. He had then in his charge, in a school of 500, nine boys under ten years old, one of whom only was less than eight. The usual term of detention was up to twenty, though occasionally only to eighteen. There was in the establishment a case committed for six months, another for twelve years and seven months, the average being something under seven years. Many of the boys came from distant parts, being confined, in the first instance, in "Maisons d'arret," where, however, they are carefully kept apart from adults. Very few of the parents were of a respectable class, but the Director did not seem to think that desertion, or connivance at offences on the part of the parents, with the view of getting the children into the "Colonic," was common. No payments are extracted from the parents, as with us—the State providing the whole expense.
Corporal punishment is not allowed in France. In consequence of this, the "cellule " (solitary confinement) has a much larger use than
with us. At Douaires boys are only confined in the "cellule " for the night, the punishment varying from one to thirty nights, according to the nature of the offence. In the day they are set to the most disagreeable kinds of work, such as carrying burdens and cleaning the floors, and are kept alone as much as possible. They attend the mass in a small loft, looking into the chapel by a porthole. For rewards, there is a system of marks, one good mark entitling its owner to a sou. Half of this he may spend, the other half is put by to form a fund when he goes. There are also three good - conduct tableaux. Boys whose names are in these tables gain small privileges, such as badges and more meat at meals. From the first of them, the tableau dhonneur, the selections are made for licensing out (liberte provisoire). This is authorised by the Government, on the application of the Director, who, however, never applies to place a boy out before he has been at Douaires a year and a half, and usually not before half his term of detention is passed. They had 160 children out on licence, their average detention in the school having been nearly four years. The interference of the parents with boys placed out gave but little trouble, which may be accounted for by the plan of committing to schools at a distance from the residence of the children, and the late age to which the State control extends. Indeed the Director said there was a Bill in contemplation to make that age twenty-one in all cases, of which he was inclined to approve. Agriculture is the chief industrial training, the boys from the towns only being taught trades. No boy is put to industrial work till between fourteen and fifteen years old. After this age three hours in summer and four in winter are given to education, two, including meals, to recreation, and the rest to work.
These were some of the most interesting points of my talk with the Director. As soon as it was over we proceeded to view the premises. The buildings were all on a fine scale, with a strong family likeness to the larger schools at home, such as Feltham; and there seemed everywhere the utmost order and cleanliness, though I saw no attempt at that cheerful ornament in the way of pictures, <tc., so common in our institutions. The staff consists of thirty guardians, one of whom accompanied us.
The first room we went into puzzled me a good deal, for it had a raised dais at one end, on which was a judicial bench covered with green baize. This turned out to be the Director's judgment - seat, before which offenders are brought to have punishment awarded in solemn form in the presence of their fellows. The sentences are afterwards read out in the refectory, and, as far as I understood, also posted. The dormitories were quite as with us, but far more care is taken as to nocturnal supervision. Guardians walk the rooms all night, and a superior officer makes his rounds every three hours, and moves an indicator in each room. From the dormitories we visited the infirmary, the forge, and the bakehouse. There the scene was striking. The boys baking were naked to the waist, several of them being finely developed about the chest and arms. The dough was put into long earthenware pans, that were pushed into the oven with a fine swinging action, the boys poking them home with long poles. All this, in the
fierce glow of the fire, made quite a picture.
In the next half hour of our inspection there was nothing remarkable—confinement-cells, little boys' soliool, workshops of the familiar type. The only sight worth mentioning was the stable, which was almost too good, being quite smart, and full of capital farm - horses. The cow-shed, also, was a perfect show, in which the names of two adjoining cows, "Cocotte" and "Lady," struck me not only from their strange juxtaposition, but as being words singularly characteristic of the two countries they belonged to.
On emerging from the buildings, we found ourselves in the drillground, whore the band of the institution was drawn up. The director and I advanced to the middle of the square, and stood in front of them. Suddenly the musicians struck up "God save the Queen." Not being musical myself, and the performers rendering our national air with a very peculiar accent, I was at first troubled with doubts as to what melody was meant. In a short time, when I felt certain, I removed my hat; the Director did the same, and there we stood for some time, I and the Director bared, the bandmaster waving his baton, the band puffing lustily, and the rest of the school drawn up in squadrons, with all the guardians in position before them. I expressed myself much gratified, and asked if I might give the band a few "good marks" (sous), but this was not allowed. The school then marched past in companies, each led by one of the boys, who gave the necessary words of command. They were dressed in nankeen blouses and trousers, cotton shirts, and blue bazettas. The type was identical with what I had seen in England, which astonished me, as there is not much likeness between the natives of the two countries elsewhere. Crime seems to form a mask of its own, regardless of race.
This ceremony concluded my entertainment, and the Director was ordering a guardian to put "Violette" in his trap, when I assured him that I was already provided. Our horse made very good going down-hill, and my coachman soon returned to his economic theories. However, it seemed to me that an inn dedicated to the ruinous city of Paris was vastly superior to the "Soleil d'Or," and I politely signified a wish to be taken on there. Jehu blushed, but at once complied. I was received by a typical French hostess in a white cap, with a hard handsome face and keen dark eyes. She showed me into a little parlour looking into a back - yard, the window full of flowers, and standing on the sill a canary in a cage, into which was stuck a large lettuce. A pancakeish omelette and wine were very acceptable, during the discussion of which the hostess and the maid kept putting their heads through the doorway to see how I was getting on. They were enchanted when I praised the viands, and the hostess still more so when I shook hands on parting. Encouraged by a success so easily gained, I wanted to do the same with the host, a large, sleepy, fair-haired man. He did not make it out at all, till the wife gave him a good dig with her elbow in the ribs, and said, "He wants to shake you by the hand." I fear he has a hard time of it, that sleepy fair-haired host. On the way to the station I passed a flock of sheep, the shepherd living with them in a large blue dog-kennel on wheels. The inside of this structure just contains the pastor's bed, on which he was tak
ing his midday siesta. One arm hung down out of the narrow dwelling, inside which I saw a print pasted on the wall, probably of a religious character. I was in plenty of time for my train, and got back to Paris in time for a lively drama at the "Varietes," throughout which my head buzzed with phrases connected with "Colonies p^nitentiaires."
I had now seen the equivalent to our "Industrial School." It yet remained to compare the "Quartier correctionel" with a "Reformatory." To this end I took my second whitey - brown envelope, and embarked at St Lazare for Rouen. In the carriage with me, to my horror and astonishment, sat the Englishman of the Rue Rivoli caricatures. If Professor Owen himself had told me, I would not have believed that such a creature existed; but there he was—turn up nose, long upper lip, sticking out teeth, and weeping whiskers. I talked to him, and found him a good fellow enoughmuch better, I thought, than a military-looking Frenchman who took my umbrella, a superfine work of Briggs, and left in its place an article quite unspeakable.
On arriving at my destination, I was astonished at the prevailing ignorance as to the whereabouts of the "Quartier correctionel," till it struck me that I might as well go about an English town asking for "the Casual Ward." I therefore changed my tactics and inquired for the prison, to which I was at once directed. A wicket in a large and gloomy portal was opened at my ringing, and I was soon ushered into the Director's room. The Director received me with affability, and directed me to seat myself on a horse-hair chair, in which position I will remain, with the reader's permission, while I give him the results of our conversation.
The "Quartier correctionel" at Rouen is the wing of a large prison, containing 800 convicts. Its present inmates number about 150, and are all over twelve years of age. The cases admitted nearly always fall under the two classes mentioned alK>ve as being committed to the "Quartiers." Occasionally, however, boys are received at the request of their parents, under a warrant of the President of the Civil Tribunal, for a treatment that is called "Correction paternelle," a short but severe discipline of from one to three months. These cases are always isolated.
The process of committal in ordinary circumstances is as follows: The police lay an information before the Procureur. The Procureur puts the case in the hands of the Juge d'lnstruction, who interrogates the boy, and makes the necessary inquiries as to his antecedents and circumstances from the Maire of the Commune. The tribunals occasionally give their children back to their parents once, twice, or thrice, in some instances taking guarantees for good behaviour.
On the arrival of a child at the "Quartier," he is placed in the "cellule," but on full allowance of food. The Director then visits him daily, studies his character, and talks to him, till he thinks he is fit to take his place with the other boys. These are divided into three sections according to age; thirteen to sixteen, sixteen to eighteen, and eighteen to twenty. The sections live apart as much as possible, and occupy separate dormitories. The Director once had no fewer than eleren incorrigibles from "Colonies" arriving in a batch.
The average period of detention is about three years, being much
shorter than at the "Colonies," because many of the incorrigibles come in at an advanced period of their sentence. The longest detention is about eight years, the shortest, one year and six months.
There are three meals a day, when each boy has as much bread as he can eat (no great boon, for I tasted it); meat twice a week. The maintenance of the children is done by contract, the contractor getting the profits of the industrial work. By this arrangement the State gets off with the sum of about 51 \ cents a day for each boy.
Industrial training, which is all carried on in the prison, begins at thirteen,—two hours a day in summer, and four in winter, being given to education.
The punishments in vogue are "Reprimandes;" "Picquet," standing a boy with his face to the wall during a meal - time, and giving him bread only; "Peleton," walking him round and round in a circle 'in a close yard during the hours of recreation; "Pain sec," "Perte de Grade," and "Cellule."
Owing to the prohibition of corporal punishment, the "cellule" is used to an extent that is repugnant to our notions. A boy may be kept in solitary confinement for as long a period as three months, being in that case on full food allowance. He may, as an alternative, be shut up for thirty days on dry bread, with soup every fourth day. Taking up the Register, I found that the first name that came to hand had had twentyone days " cellule" in the last five months. I may here say that the feeling against corporal punishment found no favour with the Director, who expressed the greatest objection to "burying a boy alive, just when he was most full of life," but for serious or repeated offences he has no other resource. When he