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for its suggestions and teachings, more than for the mode of its manufacture." One of its canons, Mr. Ruskin adds, is that all decoration should be informative if it convey any statement at all; and surely we should show in these days of universal teaching and reading the mark of our time, and make our work afford food for the mind as well as delight to the eye. It is the very lack of this earnest spirit . which makes us so unmoved and nninterested in the sacred art of our time; there appears to be shown only the taste for inaking things

pretty” and “taking”; whereas in all such art it should be the mind that should be appealed to more than the eye ; telling of some holy thing to the soul before it charm our sense ; moulding thought into higher forms, and leading fickle fancy into currents deep and lasting. Symbolism is now despised because it usually is without any historic antiquity to support it, and is the private fancy of one man, but where authority can be brought to confirm its use it immediately becomes the poetry of form as verse is of language. It is true that many of the ancient symbols and associations have perished from among us in this and other lands, but we have much remaining, and the new study of folklore is helping us to garner what was in danger of being lost. That science is now registering each ocho that comes to the ears from the “long ago," and we may hope it may revive among the simple peasantry of Europe as well as among its cultured classes a love for the Christian associations which their forefathers saw in the works of nature around them. Never before have they been so sought out; in every land we may come across scattered notes of the great hymn which to the men of old was for ever rising from flower and bird and star, although century by century that song has been becoming less clear. As in the legend of the lost Church in the wilderness :

“Oft in the forest far one hears
A passing sound of distant bells;
Nor legend old, nor human wit,
Can tell us whence the music swells.
From the Lost Church 'tis thought that soft
Faint ringing cometh on the wind;
Once many pilgrims trod the path,
But no one now the way can find."

There is an abundance of plants in our woods and lanes upon which the carver can employ his skill, bearing dedications rendering them suitable after the fashion that, we suggest, may have dictated the choice of the mediaval mason. The columbine, the convolvulus, the Lady's bedstraw, and Lady's slipper (Lotus corniculatus) are all adapted, and are part of the great flora bearing Mary's name; the tussilago and Lent lily are St. Joseph's worts; the ox-eye daisy, corn marigold, and common mallow are equally useful, and come from the Baptist's great garden, while the corn-flower recalls the father of the Saint. The great celandine of St. Clara, the buttercup, the corn

cockle (Lychnis githago), the groundsel, the holly, the sorrel (Rumex acetosella), and the forget-me-not are all ready to hand and pregnant with meaning. Our seaweeds too should be found in the churches around this sea-girt isle, and the Ladywrack (Fucus vesiculosus) has pleaded for ages for the attention of the artist.

If it be true that the “nobility of work is in direct proportion to such evidence of inner life," may we venture to hope that this paper shall not have been written in vain in the attempt to deepen the thought of the sacred art of our time? It is incumbent on those who are desirous of making the spirit of Gothic art the principle of modern work that they should show the stamp of its origin not only in the adapting of that style to the requirements of to-day, but also in employing for its decoration those subjects which will satisfy the demand created by the mental activity which has been aroused among all classes, and since fashion has divorced the wonderful mediæval art from domestic employment, it is in accordance with all ecclesiastical practice and tradition that nothing should be used meaninglessly in the work of the sanctuary, but that corbel and boss, window and wall, should have

* Lips to tell the mighty faith of days unknown.'

A good building should be like a good picture, not only technically lovely, but a great teacher in its minutest detail; it should be a history book where legends are inscribed in that most attractive form of enigma, creating not only an anxiety and an incentive to read in minds worthy of being taught, but also rivetting its lesson to the memory in a remarkable manner; it would then have the power to become the source of many another elevating taste in the evoking of fresh interests, and be the silent preacher of every good both temporal and eternal, "a thing of beauty and a joy forever.”





ANY people are under the impression that the introduction into

England of the School Board system, and the consequent spread of education among the children of the working classes, has exterminated the race of juvenile criminals; and they found their belief upon the fact that our prisons are now almost destitute of youthful offenders, and our reformatories are very much depleted of their former numbers.

Much indeed has been done by education towards this end, but much remains to be done before it can be said that more than the fringe of this moral purification has been touched.

About the year 1866—i.e. four years before the introduction of the School Board system which gave new life to the work of public Elementary Education in England—a great wave of doubt had passed over the minds of our senators, which made them question whether the old plan of committing juvenile offenders to prisons or to reformatories was either a wise or a judicious one; and the result was the introduction into Parliament of a Bill to deal with that question, and the passing of an Act, known as the " Industrial Schools Act," which made a great change in our method of dealing with youthful criminals. Heretofore many thousands of habitual criminals had been manufactured out of juvenile offenders, who often, for comparatively slight offences, were committed to prison, where they were compelled to associate with older and more vicious companions; and the result too often was that they came out of prison ten times worse than they went in. Thus the corrective process of prison life turned out to be the reverse of what it was intended to be. And how could it have been otherwise, when mere children were removed from all wholesome or elevating influences, and compelled by daily

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contact with the vilest and most hardened criminals to learn those further lessons of social and moral evil which contaminated their future lives?

This ought no longer to be tolerated, and under no circumstances should a young child be allowed even to know what prison life is like. That should rather be held up as a bugbear before its eyes, as something very terrible indeed, which might in the future be revealed to it, should its reformation not be brought about by other means. In 1869, the year before the first School Board Act was passed, as many as 10,314 juvenile criminals, under the age of sixteen years, were committed to prisons in England; while the last completed returns-viz., those for 1891-show that in that year only 3855 were So committed. Also in 1869 there were sent on to reformatories 1331 children, of whom 1075 were boys and 256 were girls; while

the year 1891 there were only 1020 children committed to reformatories, of whom 885 were boys and 135 were girls. What had become of the balance of juvenile criminals from 1869 to 1891, so that the number sent to prisons or reformatories had decreased from 10,314 in the former year to 3855 in the latter ?

Is it true that education, by a curative process, had largely diminished the number of such children, notwithstanding the enormous increase in the population of the country?

It is the object of this article to deal with that question, and to show what education really has done in the past, and even more what can be done in the future towards the gradual reformation, on safe and remunerative lines, of our juvenile criminal and semi-criminal population.

Of late years there has sprung up, under the fostering influence of the Industrial Schools Act of 1866, a large number of schools, differing absolutely from prisons, and very widely from reformatories, known as Certified Industrial Schools. In 1866 there were in this country, not including Scotland, only 57 such schools, containing a total of 2566 children, of whom 1893 were boys and 673 girls. In 1891 there were in Great Britain 153 certified industrial schools, containing 23,688 children, of whom 19,292 were boys and 4396 girls. These numbers include those detained in truant schools under the Elementary Education Act, and also in certified Day Industrial Schools ; so that it will be seen that although the number of children committed to prisons and reformatories has decreased, the numbers in Industrial Schools has increased from 2566 in the year 1866 to 23,688 in the year 1891.

From this it will be seen that public elementary education has not yet reformed our juvenile criminals, only that the policy of the country has transferred them from prisons or reformatories to industrial schools. Even this is a great step to have taken, but the

same policy requires to be vigorously followed up by the removal of those blots which still remain as hindrances to the reformation of youthful offenders. And this our Parliament alone can bring about by legislation.

It is not denied that after a certain age has been reached-say, for example, sixteen-there must be the power to commit offenders to prison or to reformatories; but Parliament should enact that henceforth it shall not be lawful to commit any child under that age to a prison even for a single day.

As the law at present stands, when a young offender is brought before a magistrate, and has committed an offence for which, in that magistrate's opinion, he should be sent to a reformatory, he must first be committed to a prison for not less than ten days, and from thence be transferred to the reformatory. This should be altered, as both unnecessary and mischievous ; for, apart from any more weighty reasons, the child forms an altogether wrong idea of what prison life really is.

In the case of a child of tender age, a prison might seem to be not such a bad sort of place after all, for manifestly the real severities of an ordinary prison life could not be applied to a child ; while unfortunately it must be subjected to all the demoralising influences of association with habitual criminals. At the same time, a ten days' sojourn in a prison, under these circumstances, cannot be looked upon as a deterrent to crime, and is therefore unnecessary; while the false estimate of what penal servitude really is takes away from the youthful offender all fear of being sent to gaol, which is a blunder.

At present there is no power in England which can prevent a child sentenced to a reformatory being first sent to prison. A case of the kind, which illustrates this position, was reported in the daily papers, and made some stir, just before last Christmas. A little girl, aged nine, who had previously been convicted, was sentenced by certain justices to be taken to a reformatory; and in order to render this lawful they sent her to prison for three weeks. They need only have sent her for ten days in order to comply with the law, but as they had already made what most people will call a grave mistake in having convicted her at all, it did not matter so very much for how many days she nominally went to prison. As no one else seemed willing to bring that case under the notice of the Home Secretary, I took upon myself to do so; and to his great credit it must be said that, having already seen the case reported in the newspapers, he had sent the order for the poor child's release from prison without waiting for pressure to be put upon him.

It is true a Home Secretary can always act in this way after a child has been sent to prison ;, he cannot, however, provent it from going there at all, if a reformatory has been named for it; but few

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