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system for raising up the prostrate portion of
the people of this country, and not as an
exhibition of such astonishing consideration for
crime, in comparison with want and work.
Any prison built, at a great expenditure, for
this system, is comparatively useless for any
other; and the ratepayers will do well to
think of this, before they take it for granted
that it is a proved boon to the country which
will be enduring.

Under the separate system, the prisoners
work at trades. Under the associated silent
system, the Magistrates of Middlesex have
almost abolished the treadmill. Is it no part of
the legitimate consideration of this important
point of work, to discover what kind of work
the people always filtering through the gaols
of large townsthe pickpocket, the sturdy
vagrant, the habitual drunkard, and the
begging-letter impostorlike least, and to
give them that work to do in preference to
any other? It is out of fashion with the
steeple-chase riders we know; but we would
have, for all such characters, a kind of work
in gaols, badged and degraded as belonging
to gaols only, and never done elsewhere.
And we must avow that, in a country
circumstanced as England is, with respect to
labour and labourers, we have strong doubts
of the propriety of bringing the results of
prison labour into the over-stocked market.
On this subject some public remonstrances
have recently been made by tradesmen; and
we cannot shut our eyes to the fact that they
are well-founded.


AN alderman of the ancient borough of
Beetlebury, and churchwarden of the parish
of St. Wulfstan's in the said borough, Mr.
Blenkinsop might have been called, in the
language of the sixteenth century, a man of
worship. This title would probably have
pleased him very much, it being an obsolete
one, and he entertaining an extraordinary
regard for all things obsolete, or thoroughly
deserving to be so. He looked up with
profound veneration to the griffins which formed
the water-spouts of St. Wulfstan's Church,
and he almost worshipped an old boot under
the name of a black jack, which on the
affidavit of a forsworn broker, he had bought
for a drinking vessel of the sixteenth century.
Mr. Blenkinsop even more admired the wisdom
of our ancestors than he did their furniture
and fashions. He believed that none of
their statutes and ordinances could possibly
be improved on, and in this persuasion had
petitioned Parliament against every just or
merciful change, which, since he had arrived
at man's estate, had been made in the laws.
He had successively opposed all the Beetlebury
improvements, gas, waterworks, infant schools,
mechanics' institute, and library. He had
been active in an agitation against any
measure for the improvement of the public health,
and, being a strong advocate of intramural
interment, was instrumental in defeating an
attempt to establish a pretty cemetery outside
Beetlebury. He had successfully resisted a
project for removing the pig-market from the
middle of the High Street. Through his
influence the shambles, which were corporation
property, had been allowed to remain where
they were; namely, close to the Town-Hall,
and immediately under his own and his
brethren's noses. In short, he had regularly,
consistently, and nobly done his best to
frustrate every scheme that was proposed for the
comfort and advantage of his fellow creatures.
For this conduct, he was highly esteemed
and respected, and, indeed, his hostility to any
interference with disease, had procured him the
honour of a public testimonial;—shortly after
the presentation of which, with several neat
speeches, the cholera broke out in Beetlebury.

The truth is, that Mr. Blenkinsop's views
on the subject of public health and popular
institutions were supposed to be economical
(though they were, in truth, desperately
costly), and so pleased some of the rate-
payers. Besides, he withstood ameliorations,
and defended nuisances and abuses with all
the heartiness of an actual philanthropist.
Moreover, he was a jovial fellow,—a boon
companion; and his love of antiquity leant
particularly towards old ale and old port
wine. Of both of these beverages he had
been partaking rather largely at a visitation-
dinner, where, after the retirement of the
bishop and his clergy, festivities were kept up
till late, under the presidency of the deputy-
registrar. One of the last to quit the Crown
and Mitre was Mr. Blenkinsop.

He lived in a remote part of the town,
whither, as he did not walk exactly in a right
line, it may be allowable, perhaps, to say that
he bent his course. Many of the dwellers in
Beetlebury High-street, awakened at half-past
twelve on that night, by somebody passing
below, singing, not very distinctly,

' With a jolly full bottle let each man be armed,'

were indebted, little as they may have
suspected it, to Alderman Blenkinsop, for their

In his homeward way stood the Market
Cross; a fine mediæval structure, supported
on a series of circular steps by a groined arch,
which served as a canopy to the stone figure of
an ancient burgess. This was the effigies of
Wynkyn de Vokes, once Mayor of Beetlebury,
and a great benefactor to the town; in which
he had founded almshouses and a grammar
school, A.D. 1440. The post was formerly
occupied by St. Wulfstan; but De Vokes had
been removed from the Town Hall in
Cromwell's time, and promoted to the vacant
pedestal, vice Wulfstan, demolished. Mr.
Blenkinsop highly revered this work of art,
and he now stopped to take a view of it by
moonlight. In that doubtful glimmer, it
seemed almost life-like. Mr. Blenkinsop had