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pose hostile to the freedom of his own country or the peace of Europe, and resigned his power into the hands of the people, the only legitimate source of sovereignty, such disinterested patriotism would have entitled him to admiration and esteem.
But among successful Generals, the example of a WASHINGTON is rare and in the crowded history of modern nations, he alone can be regarded as entitled to unqualified applause. For it should never be forgotten, that, unless when exerted in defence of human rights and freedom, the talents of the warrior are among the greatest scourges of the world. And the man who nobly vindicates a righteous cause by his achievements, sullies his laurels, when he renders them conducive to any sort of tyranny or misrule.
Whilst, therefore, the fame of BUONAPARTE fades before his own unprincipled ambition, and the important serviceswhich he rendered to France are eclipsed by his invasion of the public freedom; the name of WASHINGTON still shines resplendent, as the champion of American independence, and the constitutional ruler of her Commonwealth. This was the bright example which BUONAPARTE ought to have adopted, if the same infatuated vanity, which wrought the fall of RiENZI, had not gained undue possession of his mind.
Whilst, therefore, the advocates of courtly crimes proclaim his vices, and unthinking panegyrists loudly vaunt his glories; the discriminating friend of human happiness and freedom, admitting all the advantages derived from his internal policy and its influence on general improvement, must equally lament the mischiefs attendant on his conquests and defeats.
Nor is it easy to reflect without pity and regret, that at the crisis of a great revolution, when the accumulated abuses of tyranny and superstition had sunk beneath the power of an indignant people, the greatest means of benefiting mankind were lost by this aspiring leader; WHO, WHEN HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN A WASHINGTON THOUGHT FIT TO BECOME A RIENZI.'
'See Gibbon's History of the Roman Empire, 8vo. xi. New Annual Register, 1796-1805. Lady Morgan's France. Marshall's Life of Washington, &c. &c.
OF THIS COUNTRY,
OCCASIONED BY THE
BILL NOW IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS,
FOR CONSOLIDATING AND AMENDING THE
Laws relating to Prisons;
ON THE PRACTICE OF LOOKING TO THE TASK-MASTER OF A PRISON RATHER
BY GEORGE HOLFORD, ESQ. M. P.
"I am far from thinking that prisons should be scenes of comfort-they should be places of terror to those whom the laws would terrify; of punishment to those whom they would punish; but of mere, though secure, confinement for such as, on just grounds of suspicion, the Police find it necessary to confine for judicial trial.”
Sir George Paul's Address to the Gentlemen of the Grand
Second Edition with Corrections and Alterations.
THE Bill now on the table of the House of Commons, for Consolidating and Amending the Laws relating to Gaols, Penitentiaries, and Houses of Correction, in this part of the United Kingdom, appearing to me to have been framed on a very imperfect view of the subject, I am induced to make some remarks upon these different Places of Confinement for Criminal Prisoners; and I have chosen to publish what occurs to me thereupon, in this form, rather than to reserve my observations, to be addressed to the House in a future stage of the Bill, because many of the questions connected with the regulation of Prisons, and the treatment of Prisoners, require to be weighed with more attention than can be bestowed on them in the course of debate; and because some of them are fitter for the consideration of County Magistrates than to be made matter of Legislative enactments.
The following pages have been written more hastily than I could have wished; but I was anxious to have them printed before the meeting of Parliament; and the Bill, though printed in September last, did not come into my hands till lately.
CHAP. I.-On the Authority by which the Gaols and Prisons for the reception of Criminals in the Counties of England and Wales are regulated, and on the Legislative Provisions which it may be expedient to make upon that subject,
THE attention of the Public was particularly called, by Mr. Howard, to the state of the Prisons in this country about half a century ago.
This benevolent man, having observed, while he was Sheriff of the County of Bedford, in 1773, that persons who had been committed to take their trials for offences imputed to them, although declared not guilty by a Jury, or presumed to be so by the law for want of prosecution, were nevertheless called upon to pay fees to the gaoler for their discharge; and were not unfrequently taken back to prison in consequence of their inability to make such payments, proposed to the Magistrates of the county to allow the gaoler a salary in lieu of these fees. The Magistrates wanted a precedent for charging the county with the expense of the relief desired, and Mr. Howard went in search of one through the adjoining counties; but he found, that the injustice, for which he sought a remedy, prevailed in them also; and looking into their prisons he beheld, to use his own words, "scenes of calamity, which he grew daily more and more anxious to alleviate," and to the alleviation of which he appears from that time to have devoted himself with a degree of zeal, activity, and perseverance, worthy of the great cause which he had undertaken.