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tal example, and even parental precept, are sure sources of crime. To minister to the parents' drunkenness, children are sent out to beg and steal in the cold streets at midnight, and if they return to their wretched homes-their kennels, unprovided with the required sum, blows and starvation are the unfailing penalties. Female children are sent out upon the world to bring home the wages of prostitution, to parents who are more degraded than the pagan. In these abodes of sorrow and crime the name of God is never heard but in imprecation, every command of the Almighty is outraged, and men and women live as if death were annihilation, and as if their souls were fraught with the instincts of a beast. We state here but plain facts which all men should know. Hundreds will read with horror this extract :—“ J. D. is a thief. His father lives unlawfully with his mother, and also with one of her daughters by another person. Here they had long been all huddled into one small room. The younger female, on the occasion of my last visit, had twins in her arms about a week old, the children of this man." These are appalling words, but in the Reports of the City Mission, in the Ragged School Magazine, in each of the books under review these facts, and others still more frightful, are recorded-and thus we learn the truth of the statement-that although the number of these aged from fifteen to twenty is not one tenth of the population, yet by this class of juvenile offenders one fourth of the national crime is committed. The number of boys of fifteen and under brought every fortnight before Mr. Sergeant Adams, Chairman of the Middlesex Sessions, is about 100; some are, he states, entirely without friends or relatives of any kind; some have profligate parents who neglect them; another class have step-fathers or stepmothers, who abuse and ill treat them; some have parents who encourage them; and almost all are quite uninstructed in religious, moral, and social duties. He adds, "I should say that the evil is far more deeply seated than in the natural disposition of the children themselves. I do not think that they are naturally worse than other children; but that their offences spring from the want of proper moral and reli

See Notes and Narratives of a Six Years' Mission, principally among the Dens of London." By R. W. Vanderkiste. London: Nisbet and Co. 1853. p. 255.

gious education, and in the want of proper friends to attend to them."*

What a sad moral this statement conveys, but the facts upon which it is founded are still more sad, and the true causes of juvenile crime may be learned by all who walk. through the poorer streets of our towns. On all sides are foul and hideous dens, where dwell, in godless ignorance, the parents of a race of future criminals. The steam ship may be built, the railway train, and the electric telegraph may be a blessing to the Nation, the steam press may print its thousands of sheets per hour, and send forth magic thoughts to bless the world, and make humanity all glorious, but the "City Arabs," the poor, cast-away human weeds, who grovel in the kennels, who are children only in form and years, will one day become our convicts; and whilst the power, and wealth, and fame of the Kingdoms advance, the condition of the poor retrogrades, and a great people act as if the sole duty of a Legislature consisted in permitting the continuation of abuses, involving the poor in sin and misery, and the tax payers in expense; and this is done though all admit, in the eloquent words of Channing, that a Government "should supply moral wants, snatch every child from perdition, and waken in him the spirit and powers of a man.'

The poor cannot do these things, even if they would. They must go forth in the morning to toil for daily bread, and children then become an incumbrance, and are sent upon the streets to mingle with the bad and dishonest of the neighbourhood. Mr. Chesterton, the Governor of Coldbaths Fields House of Correction, stated to the Committee on Criminal and Destitute Juveniles; "I think one great cause of juvenile crime is the shocking state of the neighbourhoods in which those boys reside. They are contaminated by associating with profligate persons, from the utter impossibility of affording those children any recreation without allowing them to go into the streets, where they associate with bad characters. An honest labourer or drayman, for instance, taking a lodging in a locality where aloue his means will permit him to live, must send his children into the streets; and it is from thus associating with vicious characters in the streets that the boys become thieves and the girls prostitutes."

See Report on Criminal and Destitute Juveniles. 1852.

Those children whose parents are unwilling to work, are sent out to beg, or steal; those who are orphans, or who are neglected by parents, prowl through the lanes and alleys of our towns by day, and at night sleep in those hells, the common lodging houses, or in carts, or under archways, exposed to all the contamination of those better schooled in vice, or more deeply stained by sin. In such places as these our destitute children sleep-and it is calculated that in the Metropoliton Police District alone, between 50,000, and 100,000 persons of both sexes, and of all ages, pass the night in these wretched spots.

Mr. Beames, in his valuable work, The Rookeries of London, attributes the existence of common lodging-houses to avarice upon the part of the proprietors, and to neglect upon the part of the Legislature. In some of the districts of London where the poor reside, he tells us that he has known twelve people to sleep in rooms measuring eight feet by twelve, whilst the ceiling was so low that a tall man could not stand upright in the apartment. He tells us that he has known young thieves, varying in age from six years to twelve, to club together and live in such rooms in parties of seventeen. Mr. Mayhew, in his London Labor and the London Poor, thus describes these common lodging houses. The description, frightful as it is, was the revelation of one who had lived in these houses, and Mr. Mayhew gives the words of the narrator :

:

In ano.

"The worst I am acquainted with, though I have not been in it lately, is in the neighbourhood of Drury-lane: this is the worst, both for filth, and for the character of the lodgers. In the room where I slept, which was like a barn in size, the tiles were off the roof, and as there was no ceiling, I could see the blue sky from where I lay. That may be altered now. Here I slept in what was called the single men's room; and it was confined to men. ther part of the house was a room for married couples as it was called; but of such apartments, I can tell you more concerning other houses. For the bed with the blue sky I paid 3d. If it rained there was no shelter. I have slept in a room in Brick-lane, Whitechapel, in which were fourteen beds. In the next bed to me, on the one side, was a man, his wife, and three children, and a man and his wife on the other. They were Irish people, and I believe the women were the men's wives-as the Irish women generally are. Of all the women that resort to these places, the Irish are far the best for chastity. All the beds were occupied, single men being mixed with the married couples. The question is never asked, when a man and woman go to a lodging-house, if they are man and wife. All must pay before they go to bed, or be turned into the street. These beds

were made as all the low lodging-house beds are-of the worst cotton flocks, stuffed in coarse, strong canvas. There is a pair of sheets, a blanket, and a rug. I have known the bedding to be unchanged for three months; but that is not general. The beds are an average size. Dirt is the rule with them, and cleanliness the exception. They are all infested with vermin; I never met with an exception. No one is required to wash before going to bed in any of those places, (except at a very few, where a very dirty fellow would not be admitted,) unless he has been walking on a wet day without shoes or stockings, and then he must bathe his feet. The people who slept in the room I am describing were chiefly young men, almost all accompanied by young females. I have seen girls of fifteen sleep with their chaps'-in some places, with youths of from sixteen to twenty. There is no objection to any boy and girl occupying a bed, even though the keeper knows they were previously strangers to each other. The accommodation for purposes of decency is very bad in some places. A pail in the middle of a room, to which both sexes may resort, is a frequent arrangement. No delicacy or decency is ever observed. The women are, I think, worse than the men. If any one, possessing a sense of shame, says a word of rebuke, he is at once assailed, by the women in particular, with the coarsest words in the language. The Irish women are as bad as the others with respect to language, but I have known them keep themselves covered in bed when the other women were outraging modesty or decency. The Irish will sleep anywhere to save a halfpenny a night, if they have ever so much money. It is not uncommon for a boy or man to take a girl out of the streets to these apartments. Some are the same as common brothels, women being taken in at all hours of the night. In most, however, they must stay all night as a married couple. In dressing or undressing there is no regard to decency, while disgusting blackguardism is often carried on in the conversation of the inmates. I have known decent people, those that are driven to such places from destitution, perhaps at the first time, shocked and disgusted at what they saw. I have seen a decent married pair so shocked and disgusted, that they have insisted on leaving the place, and have left it. A great number of the lodging-houses are large old buildings, which were constructed for other purposes; these houses are not so ill-ventilated, but even there, where so many sleep in one room, the air is hot and foul. In smaller rooms, say twelve feet by nine, I have seen four beds placed for single men, with no ventilation whatsoever, so that no one could remain inside in warmish weather, without every door and window open; another room in the same house, a little larger, had four double beds, with as many men and women, and perhaps with children. The Board of Health last autumn compelled the keepers of these places to whitewash the walls and ceilings, and use limewash in other places; before that, the walls and ceilings looked as if they had been blackwashed, but still you could see the bugs creeping along those black walls, which were not black enough to hide that. In some houses in the summer you can hardly place your finger on a part of the wall free from bugs. I have scraped them off by handfulls."

It might be objected that these descriptions are exaggerated, but Mr. Garwood, Mr. Vanderkiste, the Inspectors of Police, and the Reports of the City Mission, all prove the facts, with other and more appalling evidences. Viscount Ingestre, of whom his order may well feel proud, visited these spots, and in his Letters to a Friend* corroborated the statements, and in calculating the enormous profit derived by the owners of the lodging houses, drew the same conclusion as that adopted by Mr. Beames-namely, that avarice and governmental carelessness are the mainsprings of the entire evil. Lord Ingestre found, in the neighbourhood of Church Lane, St. Giles, a district which Mr. Mayhew and Mr. Beames proved to be the seed plots of crime, that those who herd in the kennels above described pay from two pence to four pence per night. The real owner receives about thirty pounds per annum for an eight-room house, the tenant of which receives ten pounds per annum for each room, by letting it to his miserable lodgers at three pence, per head, per night-and he secures himself by demanding payment before the lodger enters the room. These houses are not confined to London; they exist in England, Ireland, and Scotland, under the eye of the Police, plague spots in the commonwealth sending forth their myriad criminals, young and old, to bring destruction upon themselves, disgrace upon the nation, and accumulated claims upon the revenue. The places and the people are the same, whether situated in the Liberty of Dublin, the Slums of London, or the Wynds of Edinburgh and Glasgow ; as Cardinal Wiseman has said, they nests of ignorance, vice, depravity, and crime, as well as of squalor, wretchedness, and disease; whose atmosphere is typhus, whose ventilation is cholera; haunts of filth which no sewerage committee can reach; dark corners which no lighting board can lighten." Churchmen and laymen, official and nonofficial witnesses, all religions, and all classes of society, agree in evidence as to the condition of these places, and in attributing to their contaminating influences the great mass of juvenile crime; and with the statement of one who writes upon social abuses with an eloquence, an energy, and an ability rarely surpassed, we shall pass to another portion of this momentous

are

See

'See " Meliora," First Series, Second Edition, pp. 157, 180. also Mr. Worsley's "Essay on Juvenile Depravity," p. 105, and the Prison Reports of 1841-Southern and Eastern District, p. 148.

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