« 上一頁繼續 »
directed to the Rauhe Haus, near Hamburg, a private establishment for the education of vicious children, of which we will speak more particularly presently, conducted on the principle of giving to its inmates that which they had never before enjoyed-the benignant influence and comforts of home; a purpose which it was sought to effect by breaking up the total number into families of twelve, under a superintendent discharging the duties and actuated by the feelings of a parent, with a distinct institution of brothers in training, who were engaged in constant assistance and supervision. Here M. De Metz believed that he had discovered an exemplification of the practical operation of the principle embodied in the Article of the Penal Code already cited. He accordingly resolved to apply the principle to young persons of that class to which the Article refers. An old school-fellow of his, M. le Vicomte de Brétignèrs de Courteilles, a retired soldier, a man of acute intellect and of singular benevolence, joined him in the project, and devoted a considerable estate, and the remainder of his life, to the prosecution of it. Hence originated the Reformatory School of Mettray.
proachable, after a lapse in many cases of ten years; 58 only were half reformed; and only 103, or less than oue-ninth, (about 11 per cent.) have relapsed into crime. There were, at the date of the last report, 550 inmates. The institution receives a trifling subsidy of 40,000 francs from Government; the other funds needful for its support are supplied partly by the liberality of the original founder and his friends; partly by the labour, chiefly agricultural, of the establishment. Munificent contributions have been made by the cities of Orleans, Limoges, Tours, Poitiers, and Paris: and among the individual contributors, honourable and grateful mention is made of M. le Comte Leon d'Ourches, who, by a generous and opportune donation of 160,000 francs, has entitled himself to be regarded as the third founder of the colony. The first thing that strikes the visitor, as he approaches this institution, is the total absence of boundary walls, or of any material contrivances for preventing the escape of the inmates, who are free to come and free to go; the only key is, as is expressed in a well known French idiom, "the key of the open fields." Let it be understood, however, that though the young people have always the opportunity to decamp, any attempt to do so is regarded as a grave offence, from the commission of which it is considered as a point of honour to abstain. From the first moment of his arrival the young "colonist" is treated as one who can be trusted not to make the attempt. The system is such, that the absence of an individual is immediately observed; and the missing party is forthwith pursued. The attempts at evasion are extremely rare, and we have heard of only one that has been successful. We may add, that there is the same liberty as regards communications from without; the visits of relatives and correspondence with them is both permitted and encouraged; unless the moral character of such relatives renders it expedient to inhibit all intercourse with them. Each family of forty, which has its own separate dwelling, is governed by two young men specially educated and trained for the purpose, assisted by two boys elected quarterly, by ballot, by their comrades, with the denomination of "elder brothers." This plan is adopted for the
In 1839 they commenced their undertaking; and in five months they succeeded in constructing five dwellings, which in ten months were ready for the reception of 120 children. Five other dwellings, a chapel, a place for punishment, several granges, and a complete farming establishment, have been successively added. With a view to make their ground sure as they advanced, M. De Metz and his coadjutor commenced with a staff of assistants twice as numerous as the first consignment of children. The first nine "colonists," (a convenient euphemism!) were received on the 22nd January, 1840; and during the earlier years the whole number was employed in levelling the yards and fitting up their habitations; an occupation which was found to have a powerful tendency to create in them. an attachment to the place of their new abode. The latest account we have been able to procure brings down the narrative of the proceedings at Mettray to January, 1854. It had then educated and liberated 953 boys, of whom 774 have remained irre
purpose of bringing the procedure as near as possible to a resemblance of the family system, of conferring an honourable recompense upon those who are selected, and of giving a proof of confidence in the judgment and fairness of the young electors, of whose spirit the directors have thus a valuaable index. This institution of "elder brothers" is justly regarded as the mainspring of the system; it gives the body of colonists living together in the same dwelling that habit of acting together for the common comfort of their domestic relations, which is a considerable step towards the creation of the esprit de famille. There is hung up a quarterly list of the names of such colonists as, during the preceding three months, had, by the blamelessness of their conduct, given no occasion for punishment. This is found to be attended with good effect; as is also another regulation-a weekly list for each family, which is hung up in the family room. Much of this will doubtless excite a smile; but we have brought it forward for the purpose of shewing how earnestly the founders of the institution are penetrated with the persuasion that its success depends upon the degree to which they are able to imbue the children with the family feeling, teach them that they are dwelling in the family home, under the domestic roof, around the paternal hearth. The spirit of the domestic discipline at Mettray is well set forth in the following anecdote, which is narrated by M. Cochin, in his Notice sur Mettray, p. 28:-"The abbé Fissiaux, who is at the heal of the colony of Marseilles, while on a visit at Mettray, desired the colonists to point out to him the three best boys. The eyes of the rest instantly turned to three of the children whose good behaviour was most marked. The worthy abbé tried a more delicate test. Point out to me,' said he, 'the worst boy.' The children all remained motionless. One of them came forward by himself, with an air of distress, and said in a very low voice, Tis 1. 'My friend,' said the abbó, embracing him, your conduct satisfies me that you are mistaken, and I will not believe you, though you tell me so." "Thenceforward," says the narrator, "that little boy has behaved very well, and is already beaucoup comparative
ment au passé." Doubtless. And if ever the simple-hearted abbé pays another visit to Mettray, he will find le plus mauvais sujet there in high feather with the hope of having his self-condemnation so authoritatively set aside. The whole story is charac teristically French, and reminds us of the acute and piquant remark of Voltaire, that "the same sermon which would work a French audience into the highest pitch of devotion would set an English audience a laughing." In the case of this poor child we see the working and the fostering of that sense of honor, which, in the absence of a spirit of religion, prevades the whole of society in France, and which led an eminent statesman of that country to address one of our Inspectors of Prisons in these terms:-" You, in England, have one potent instrument for the refor mation of prisoners, which we have not got here: you have religion: we have none." In truth the system in operation at Mettray is a jumble of sound and unsound principles, and may be fitly represented by an arch, one end of which stands upon a rock, while the other rests upon a quicksand. We do not for a moment question the potency of the principle known as "the sense of honour." He must be a heedless observer, or an uncandid witness, who affirms that it has but little force. The truth is, its force is wonderful. But we wish to see the neglected and demoralized youth of these kingdoms brought under the influence of a principle whose force is more wondrous still; which has a code of morals that is perfect, and motives to obey it that are designed to be universal, immutable, and irresistible. We have pointed out several good regulations that are in force at Mettray. Though agriculture is the chief, it is not the sole industrial occupation of the children. The ground floor, in the different dwelling houses, is used for workshops, in which agricultural implements are made or repaired, the young people working in absolute silence, under the instructions of a chef d'atelier, or superintendent, well skilled in the business. Other occupations, as tailoring, rope-making, and washing, are carried on under proper instructors; care being taken to assign the children to such employments as are
suited to their inclinations or capaci. with the best effect. In these emties, or to the mode of life to which ployments nothing is made for the they are likely to addict theniselves, general market; the colony consumes when the term of their schooling has all that it makes, and, as far as possj. expired. The whole proceedings of ble, makes all that it consumes. The every individual, from the moment he period of detention is three years ; at enters the establishment till he leaves the expiration of which term they it, are registered. An accurate ac- are, as we have already mentioned, count is kept of his conduct and of hired by the neighbouring farmers his misdemeanours, more
and tradesmen, from whom there are slight-of the rewards he has re- more applications than cau be satis ceived ; and of the punishments, ex- fied. When a boy is thus placed tremely, slight and well-contrived, out, "a patron” is obtained for him, to wbich he has been subjected. And that is, some gentleman in the vicion his leaving the establishment a nity who will interest himself in his watch is continued to be kept on the conduct and welfare. Reports from place where he is hired with the farm- these patrons are received every six ers and gardeners in the neighbour months, from which a list is made hood; so that the returns year after out. If the lad behaves well, he is year tell precisely the whole effect of presented, on his arriving at his thsystem of discipline. We confess twentieth year, with a ring engraved that we regard this last as one of its with an appropriate device. If he best features. No penal or reforma- turns out ill, while under twenty tory discipline can be effective, unless years of age, he is either received the discharged prisoner is made to back for a further trial, or is sent to understand and feel that, whether the House of Correc.ion from which his future conduct be good, or bad, he came, and there remains until the or indifferent, it is closely watched. expiration of his sentence. There is The bearing in mind of this post- a normal school attached to the in. prison surveillance, acting as a subsi- stitution, in which there are from diary element of the discipline, must twelve to eighteen pupils, to replace produce the best effects. “It is true such of the masters as are sent of to that the number of trades in which similar establishments that are formthe inmates at Mettray are instructed ing in various parts of France, is rather scanty-but this arises from We cannot withhold the following a desire on the part of the directors anecdote from our readers. Not long to detach the children as much as since there was too much reason to possible from a city life, which pre- believe that certain pecuniary supsents numerous and peculiar tempta- port would be withdrawn from the tions, and to give them a taste for institution, to such an extent that the more healthful and secure occupa- the establishment must be wound tions of husbandry.
Hence The up, and the further prosecution of it manufactures in which they are em- abandoned ; whereupon the different ployed are chiefly such as are con- employés, a body of young men from nected with agriculture, so that they twenty-one to thirty-five years of see the practical utility of the handi- age-men of tried ability and vigour, craft operations they perform. At who could at any time command rethe instance of the Minister of Ma- munerative employment elsewhere, rine, a ship's must and tackle have waited on M. De Metz, and offered to been set up in the play ground, and continue their services at half their a veteran seaman has been engaged salaries ! So fully were their hearts to teach the lads who had a taste for devoted to the work in which they such occupation, so much seamanship were engaged. We must not omit to as could be learnt with the aid of this notice that Mettray has in its whole apparatus. The success of the experi- constitution one peculiar feature, ment has exceeded every anticipation. military organization. Each family It has been found that lads thus is taught to consider itself a company trained can soon make themselves of the regiment which is made up of useful on board ship, and they are the whole establishment; the moniconsequently in demand for the tors to each house are, so to speak, its navy: Enlistment in the army is also corporals ; the superintendent its studiously promoted ; and, it is said, lieutenant and captain; the Director
of the Colony, its colonel. Military discipline is assiduously, though not harshly or unkindly, enforced and practised; the boys march to their work, thir exercise, their school, their play ground; a band of nilitary music, selected from the boys themselves, assists in familiarizing and ins illing the military notion and feeling; an exact obedience on the one hand, and a constant superintendence on the other, are thus at once enforced. Such is Mettray; an institution which, whether for good or for evil, has exercised, and will continue to exercise, over the minds of the founders of similar establishments through the globe, an influence so powerful and diffusive as to justify all the minuteness with which we have described its structure and operation. There are in France and Algeria forty-one institutions of this description, but the results are far from being either uniform or encouraging. Of these, 18 are directed by laymen, 15 by ecclesiastics or religious bodies, and 8 under a mixed direction, lay and clerical. Three are specially devoted to Protestant children; and, of these, that at Strasbourg is the most intersting and the best known.
Immediately after Mettray, in point of interest and importance, though prior to it in point of origin, con.es the universally known Rauhe Haus, at the village of Horn, about three mil s from Hamburg, and founded, in 1833, by M. Wichern, for the reception and training of poor friendless outcasts of the adjacent city. was not designed for those who had fallen into crime, but for those whose circumstances and associates were likely to lead them into it. The benevolent founder's view was this," that a prison school will only train culprits; it will not develop the feelings or morals: that can alone be done by placing the child, as far as possible, in h position in which the heavenly Father would have him placed, in a well-ordered family, where his best faculties and disposition should be educed and expanded ; an institution which shall not send forth branded convicts, (los; to all self-respect), but moral patients restored to health, who henceforth should mingle unmarked with those around them." The usual designation,
"House of Rescue." was dropped, and the new institution took its name from that belonging to the old, rough, thahed cot.age first inhabited, Rauhe Haus. Let the child feel," says M. Wichern, "that when his foot passes over the threshold of h's new abode, his conduct is changed! He begins a new life. His past misbehaviour is forgiven and fogotten." The number of inmates at the commencement was only four or five, whom M. Wichern had induced by gene remonstrance and calm rasoning, suited to the capacity of the poor children, to come into their new dwelling; being determined
By winning wor ls to conquer willing hearts, And make persuasion do the work of fear:
and he was immediately rewarded with answerable success. With the aid of his young converts, he soon brought their humble tenement into a habitable condition; and when all was ready, he inaugurated his un lertaking with a simple but most impressive religious solemuity, which those who were present could not e sily have forgotten; and we consecrated our es ab.ishment," says he,
on -, in the mids: of such a bright sunshine, that only God's own love could shine more brightly." The whole proceeding was eminently affec.ing. The following prayer, offered up on this occasion, as it cam from the speaker's heart, will surely find its way to that of the reader :"Deign, O thou God of mercy, to enter this lowly dwelling as its guardian and defence; dwell therein, as its Lord and owner;--supply therein with bodily and spiritual food;-a vaken therein the longing for that far bester and etera! abode of pa c, which thou in yonder mansions hast prepared for them that love thy appearing, and paintly look for thy salvation." There are no bars, bolts, or boundary wall; "the s rongest and moз3 unscaleable wall," says the founder, "is, we find, to have no wall at all." We have not space to go into the details of the mauag ment of this most in er st ng establishment; su lice it to say that, as a Reformatory, its success has been as signal as that of Mettray, while the lading pr.nciple on which it is conducted--the failily feelin—is the
The amount of compulsion retorts the director, “ whether yours exercised is slight, and rarely needed. pray with the heart ? For if they Kindness, vigilance, the effect of don't, they had better not pray at example, and, above all, the moral all.” This is a very pretty controinfluences, wholly new to the wretched versy as it stands ; we leave the children sent thither, which are rival litigants to decide it at their brought to bear upon them, rarely leisure. fail to work the desired effects. The In contrasting the Belgic system boys are all taught some branch of with that of France, or, indeed, with industry; and, as fast as they shew that of any other State, it is proper themselves qualified and deserving, to bear in mind that the reformatory are placed out in various honest schools of that kingdom have been callings. The whole number is instituted by virtue of a law which grouped into families of twelve, over applies to the whole nation, and adeach of which superintendents are mits to a participation in its benefits appointed.
every mendicant, yagrant, pauper, or In Belgium there are two refor- morally neglected child found in matory schools one at Ruysselede, certain defined circumstances. The modelled upon that at Mettray, and design is not merely to come to the superintended by the well-known rescue of some children only, of a reformer of prisons, M. Ducpétiaux; given class or locality, but to comand the other at Beernem, exclusively pass the reformation of the whole of for girls, and conducted by Sisters of the youthful population heretofore Charity. It must be observed, how- condemned, by the extreme misery, ever, that only about one half of the the vices, the negligence, or the inmates are of the criminal class ; the thriftlessness of their parents, to be rest are pauper children sent by the swallowed up and lost in the depots parishes, or by benevolent societies : of mendicity and the prisons.
In à fact which ought to be borne in short, it is boldly attempted to extinmind when contrasting results. For guish pauperism in Belgium, by the example, when Mr. Robert Hall, education and apprenticeship of all Recorder of Doncaster, visited, in its mendicant, vagrant, and pauper 1854, the establishment of Petit children ; and in the course of this Bourg, near Corbeil, in France, for endeavour the highest refinements of the treatment of precisely the same discipline and economy have been class of offenders with that received at brought into practical use. Mettray, he applied his usual test,— There is at Kopf, near Berlin, a the searching question, “Do you suc- reformatory establishment, and anoceed in gaining the affections of your ther at Dusselthal Abbey, near young people?" The answer was,
Dusseldorf, founded, in 1816, by * Never !” The children were de- Count Von der Recke. Switzerland, scribed as being at once selfish and too, as is well known, boasts of her ungrateful ; sometimes well-behaved reform schools at Neuhof and out of policy, but never evincing the Hofwyl, besides that at Bachtelen, slightest kindly feeling for the most near Barue, and the renowned norsedulous care. At Ruysselede he mal school of Kreutlingen, near asked the same question. “Yes," Constance, founded by Werbli, the was the reply; "we should do little disciple and follower of Pestalozzi good if we did not gain the hearts of and Fellenberg. Nor have the United the great majority,--almost of all States been behind Europe in this those who remain any length of time useful and benevolent career. The with us; but the parishes remove earliest Reformatory was established some of them before any good can be in New York in 1824 ; this was follioped for.” We pray our readers to lowed by one at Philadelphia, in mark that; we shail have to recur to it 1823; in 1835 an excellent one was by-and-by. At Mettray the children founded; and it reports the most ensay their prayers aloud ; at Ruys- couraging results. There are others selede all pray in silence.
" Ilow do of more recent date in Massachusetts you know that your children pray at
and Maryland. The latest we have all?" asks a superintendent of the heard of is the Baltimore House of former establishment of the director Refuge, established in 1852. These of the latter. “How do you know," reckon their inmates by thousands ;