Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 16.djvu/451

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

as those of makers of puddings, butchers, cobblers, tinkers, costard-mongers, hostlers, or daubers.'" Such, the teller of the story informs us, was gravely taught as the beginning of servile labor.


Experiments in Punishment.—The present convict system of England is an outgrowth of the transportation system, which it has supplanted. It has grown up by successive alterations and improvements, made in accordance with varying circumstances and demands; and, to understand it fully, it is necessary to know something of the various experiments which have from time to time been tried with different methods of punishment. But, without going into this part of the subject, we give below the conclusions of a writer in the "Nineteenth Century" regarding the principles which experience seems to have established. They are: "1. That a well-devised system of secondary punishment should provide for subjecting those sentenced to it to a uniform course of penal deterrent discipline. 2. That every means possible should be adopted for developing and working on the higher feelings of the prisoners directly by moral, religious, and secular instruction, and indirectly by insuring industry, good conduct, and discipline, through appealing to the hope of advantage or reward, as well as by the fear of punishment. 3. That, with a view to deterrence as well as reformation, it is desirable that the first part of every sentence should be undergone on the separate system, as developed at Pentonville. 4. That, before discharging the convict to a full or modified degree of liberty, he should be subjected to further training, in which he should be associated under supervision, while at labor, but separated at all other times. 5. That properly constructed prison-buildings, providing among other things for this separation, are all important requisites for the success of the system. 6. That employment should be provided, and industry enforced or encouraged for all. 7. That care should be taken to select and train a good staff of skilled and responsible officials to supervise and carry on the work of the convict establishments, and means adopted to prevent their work being hindered or defeated by the prisoners being brought into close contact, on works or otherwise, with free men who were under no such responsibilities. 8. That those who on discharge are disposed to follow honest courses should be guided and assisted in their endeavors, and that a careful watch should be kept over all till they have reestablished their character."


Anthropometric Observation.—The report of the Anthropometric Committee of the British Association showed that considerable progress was made during the past year in the matter of collecting valuable statistical information. Returns had been obtained, giving the birthplace, origin, and sex, age, height and weight, strength of arm, and eyesight, of pupils at sundry public schools, London policemen and letter-sorters, workmen, rifle volunteers, soldiers, and criminals. By this, means the committee were put in possession of nearly 12,000 original observations on the main question of weight and height in relation to age, in addition to 50,000 already collected. The committee submitted a series of tables made up from the information contained in the returns. From these it was shown that the London letter-sorters were the lowest in height, the average heights between the ages of twenty and thirty-five being 64 to 67·1 inches. The letter-sorters were also at the bottom of the weight table, their average weights in pounds being 122·5 to 139·9. The metropolitan police were at the head of both lists: height 69·2 to 71·5 inches and weight 122·5 to 182·7 pounds. Other tables were given, showing that the average height and weight vary with the social position and occupation of the people, and that to obtain the typical proportions of the British race it would ha necessary to measure a certain number of individuals of each class. Taking the census of 1871, they find that a model community—that is, a community which would exhibit the typical proportions of the British race—must consist of 14·82 per cent, of the non-laboring class, 47·46 per cent, of the laboring class, and 37·72 per cent, of the artisan and operative class. It is found that the full stature is reached in the professional class at twenty-one years, and in the artisan class between twenty-five and thirty years. The growth in weight does not cease with that of the stature, but continues slowly in both classes up to the thirtieth year.