Victorian London - Publications - Social Investigation/Journalism - The Pauper, The Thief and the Convict, by Thomas Archer, 1865 - Chapter 11 - The Convict in Penal Servitude - Millbank

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XI

 THE CONVICT IN PENAL SERVITUDE : MILLBANK

   "The jury have found you both guilty, and you are each sentenced to seven years' penal servitude."
   There has been a temporary hush in the loud whispering of barristers, in the swinging and rattling of doors, in the sharp shuffling of clump-soled feet upon the matting, as messengers and policemen passed in and out. The hot, close air of that hall of justice - the Criminal Court, in the Old Bailey - has been humming (in unaccustomed ears) as though the dance of death had been set to the bagpipes, with rather too much of the drone.
   Now, however, the judge settles himself afresh; the jury shift into the position which they had occupied before the front row turned solemnly round to consult upon the verdict with the back row; the barristers employed on the next trial open their papers, arrange their gowns and bands, and lean over to speak to their attorneys; and that strange public which daily hangs about the law courts during the sessions nibbles another corner of dingy biscuit and prepares itself to listen to another case.
   The two ruffians who just now occupied the dock have looked stolidly and blankly before them during the whole proceedings, except that once the dark-haired one, whose brows shelve over his eyes like a penthouse roof, suddenly contradicted a witness and so provoked a contemptuous [-190-] laugh from his companion. That companion's face has already caught the prison complexion, and looks, with its flat, heavy features, and stony immobility, not unlike one of those faces, executed in bad stucco, which may he noticed over certain old-fashioned street-doors.
   It would be difficult to detect in it any sentiment of fear or remorse, any appeal against the sentence, any definite appearance of denial or pretence of virtuous assertion; very little expression is to be discovered in either face except that of stolid indifference and defiance until they are removed from the dock; and then, as they pass down the steps leading from the court, their features relax into a meaning smile, as who should say, "We know what this sort of thing is. Let society look out for itself when we have another chance."
   They probably know enough about it to have learnt the slang name for that walled stone alley roofed in with iron lattice-work which leads from the Criminal Court to Newgate Gaol. It is pretty generally known amongst older ruffians as "Birdcage Walk," and a terrible walk it is. Some of the gaolbirds who pass over its stones on their way to the condemned-cells go back to it after death, for this is that "precinct of the gaol" which receives the bodies of those who are hanged outside the grim, black gate in the prison walls. Each of these uneven flag-stones covers a murderer's coffin; above it the initial of the murderer's name may be seen rudely carved in the brickwork of the wall. The first step of the convicted criminal lies terribly near the last. There are dread sermons in the stones of that awful causeway; but it is known as "Birdcage Walk."
   From the moment of their conviction the prison life of the brace of felons who have just left the dock wears a somewhat different aspect. The steps which have led [-191-] them to Birdcage Walk began in a street robbery which, being resisted, was accompanied with brutal violence and the serious maiming of a policeman. After a night in the cell of a police station- which cell, as I remember to have said before, was the cleanest and best ventilated portion of the entire building- they were taken before a magistrate, who committed them for trial. Awaiting their sentence, they have for a few days occupied that anomalous position in Newgate prison which the law accords to the British subject who is popularly "supposed to be innocent until he is found guilty."
   Hitherto they have been permitted to see their friends through the iron bars and wire lattice which divide one of the prison passages; might, if they had pleased, have consulted their solicitor in that glass room before referred to; and could, if they had possessed the money, have obtained some addition to the prison fare. They have had opportunities for communicating with each other, and have been exempt from the regulation opium-picking of the gaol. The clothes in which they appeared at the Session House are their own; but upon their first consignment to Newgate these clothes were subjected to a steam bath and so purified, while their wearers also underwent a cleansing process which is often in itself a punishment. Immediately after their return as convicted felons they exchange these corduroy and fustian garments for the coarse prison suit of grayish-brown cloth, and, being further transformed by shaven faces and closely cropped hair, lose at first sight such individuality as they possessed and attain a general resemblance to other prisoners, some of whom have been denuded of flowing locks and curled whiskers, and so reduced to the ordinary convict level, by which their features are left to the bare, blank [-192-] exposure which reveals all their good or evil points to the penetration of the physiognomist.
   Only one of them can read well, and he cares little for reading except as a means of ingratiating himself with schoolmaster or chaplain. He of the beetling brows, who cannot spell, sleeps his spare time away until he speaks in chapel and becomes refractory, for which he is consigned to bread and water and the dark cell until the governor is convinced of his temporary penitence. It so happens that neither of the prisoners sees the other except for half a minute a day and at some distance until the order comes for their removal to the first stage of penal servitude.
   Past the new Westminster Bridge, with its fine roadway, broad footpath, and low balustrade; past Westminster Hall, and the spacious area where Richard Cosur de Lion waves defiance to the world on behalf of the British Constitution; past the Houses of Parliament on the left, leaving the venerable Abbey on the right, I come suddenly upon narrow and dingy streets, with a quiet and general seediness in their appearance which impresses me with the belief that the inhabitants of that locality have little or nothing to do, and generally do it. Keeping the main thoroughfare, however, I reach the river hank by Horseferry Road, whence the black iron bridge of Vauxhall spans the dirty stream, and part of Lambeth Palace and the Bishop's Walk are visible on the opposite side.
   Coming upon this locality on a somewhat murky day, the prospect is inconceivably gloomy, and the air which overhangs the river seems charged with smoke of many qualities which imparts a grayish-yellow look to everything [-193-] that is seen through its medium. On the Lambeth side the old archaepiscopal building, although strangely various in style, has something about it quaint and stately; but here, standing at Millbank, the enormous mass of brickwork to which the first attention is directed is low, dark, beetling, and full of depressing influences from its regular irregularity. The exterior entrance is far from imposing, since, as it consists of a lodge door and a great pair of yard gates, supplied with a very obvious and noisy bell, it is forcibly suggestive of a distillery combined with an extensive "horse depository." The building itself as seen from the roadway, not towering, but huddling, above the outer wall, has been aptly described in " The Criminal Prisons of London" as "one of the most successful realisations, on a large scale, of the ugly in architecture, being an ungainly combination of the madhouse with the fortress style of building." It may be considered, however, that this immense structure is sufficiently elegant for its purpose, and that even the small embrasures containing the long lines of barred windows are quite suggestive of the use for which it was designed; for this is Millbank Prison, and the black, shiny police van which has but just left the yard has deposited my two ruffians in the establishment where criminals of their class commence their experience of penal servitude.
   Millbank Prison may be said to be a general convict depot, from which the criminals are drafted to the public works or to other government gaols. It is, therefore, the largest prison in England, and the building, which was commenced in 1812, upon land purchased from the Marquis of Salisbury in 1799 for 12,000, is a modification of Jeremy Bentham's proposed "panoptikon," or inspection-house, which he declared might be so constructed [-194-] as to submit every prisoner to constant surveillance from a common centre. This will serve to explain the peculiarity of the ground-plan, which represents a sort of geometrical puzzle, consisting of six pentagons radiating from a large sexagon. So that viewed from a balloon, this gaol would look like a gigantic Pope Joan board; the "pool" or centre of which is occupied by the chapel, and the outgoing trays or pentagons, by the criminal fish and other objectionable "counters," which are in one sense so easy, and in another sense so difficult to lose in the social game. Each of these pentagons consists of three storeys, which are divided into wards, and contain the cells and "association rooms," where the prisoners are confined. The pentagons are divided between the male and female convicts, of each of whom there are above 500, sentenced for various offences and to different terms of imprisonment and penal servitude. They come to Millbank from all the prisons of detention, from the county gaols; in cases of military or naval offenders, from barracks or ships, where they are sentenced by court-martial, and occasionally from the government settlements of Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Portland, whence they are returned to confinement for violence or dangerous misconduct. There is no classification with respect to the prisoners, and their punishment is all of a similar character until they are each drafted off to the various prisons to which the nature of their crime consigns them; so that while most of the inmates of Millbank are ultimately removed to the various metropolitan or suburban establishments, our two ruffians will in the course of their term of punishment he ordered to Pentonville Prison, to undergo probationary separate confinement, and, finally (as they are strong and ablebodied), to carry out their sentence at the government [-195-] works at Portland. If the ground-plan of the building at Millbank is a geometrical puzzle, the interior is assuredly an eccentric maze. Long, dark, and narrow corridors, and twisting passages, in which the visitor unaccustomed to the dubious twilight has to feel his way; double-locked doors opening at all sorts of queer angles, and leading sometimes into blind entries, and frequently to the stone staircases which, like the passages, seem as though they had been cut out of the solid brickwork, and that the few windows could only he put in when the excavation reached the surface. These staircases, so steep and narrow, are not unlike the devious steps by which the traveller reaches the towers of Strasbourg and some other cathedrals, except that they are even more gloomy. Two impressions are produced on the visitor as he cautiously follows the officer who conducts him through the winding entrances to the different wards: the impossibility of a prisoner's ready escape from such a maze, even should he contrive to quit his cell, or make a sudden "bolt" when going to or from exercise or chapel; and the almost equal difficulty of finding that prisoner if he chose to run the chance of hiding himself in the dark nooks or "doubling" in the zigzag corridors. This idea, however, is checked by the facility with which the officer himself unlocks door after door, and, by a strangely winding and irregular course, which seems almost subterranean, makes the circuit of the entire building.
   It is probably this peculiar construction, as well as the sense of confinement produced by dark and narrow passages, which causes an apparent want of ventilation. The whole place has a prison atmosphere, while the want of free circulation and the consequent variation of temperature is so obvious as to suggest a tepid swimming-bath, in [-196-] which the supply of hot and cold water has not been properly mixed for immediate use.
   The wards are passages some 50 feet long and about 10 feet high, one side of each of them being occupied by the cells, and the other side by the windows, which are at some distance from the ground, and, although the walls are roughly whitened, seem to give that uncertain light, which may be accounted for by their deep setting in the outer wall. In these wards my fanciful experience of the ill-prepared swimming-bath is confirmed, since in most of them, especially as it is a raw chilly day, the presence of the flues of the heating apparatus is very distinctly felt at certain points; while, as a great many of the prisoners are employed in tailoring, there are frequently two large closed stoves in each passage, for the purpose of heating the "geese" required for their work.
   The labour of the convicts at Millbank is sufficient to constitute a very considerable manufactory, since in the various cells there are weavers at their looms making hammocks and bagging, beside the calico shirtings, the gingham handkerchiefs, and the linsey petticoats worn at the various penal establishments; shoemakers, who produce not only the boots and shoes for the prisoner and the officers of this and other prisons, but some work which finds a market outside the gaol; mat and rug makers, who use hemp and cocoa-nut fibre, and produce great numbers of doormats for wholesale dealers in the City, and, as I have just said, a little army of tailors. On the women's side there are seamstresses, to make shirts and women's clothes for the prisons, to knit woollen stockings for Portland and the other government stations, and to make brushes and brooms for the use of the gaol. Many of these are also employed in "slopwork" and common needlework [-197-] for the outfitters and wholesale tailors and hosiers - an employment which all too forcibly suggests "The Song of a Shirt," and the starving needlewoman's longing even for "the prison fare," which is so much better than that which she can procure by unremitting and miserable toil.
   Each cell is lighted by a window, and has a mechanical means of ventilation; and in each there is a gaslight adjusted, according to the work on which the prisoner is employed; those of the tailors and shoemakers being only two feet from the ground, while those where looms are erected are so contrived as to move on a jointed arm and come over the part where most light is required. The furniture of the cells consists of a tub for washing (which, being fitted with a wooden cover, is also used as a seat), a large earthenware pan, and a small deal table-flap, upon which may be seen, beside the tin pint mugs for cocoa and gruel, the salt-cellar, plate, and wooden spoon: - the Bible and Prayer-book, some school books, a slate and pencil, and probably some volume which each prisoner is allowed to receive once a fortnight from the prison library. The bedding and hammock are neatly folded into a square package, which looks like a large knapsack, and is placed in a particular corner of the cell; a comb and towel, and a broom for sweeping the floor, complete the list, with the exception of a flat wooden wand, the use of which will be presently explained. Some of the upper cells are provided with iron bedsteads instead of hammocks, but these are exceptional. At present, though by the new regulations instituted since the Commission of Inquiry, and the report of the Directors of Prisons issued in August of the present year, the hammocks will shortly be abolished for fixed wooden cots, with coil mattresses.
   [-198-] On the wall is hung a paper containing the printed regulations of the prison with regard to conduct, to the circumstances under which improved conditions and partial remission of sentence may be granted, and to the daily rations of food. In that part of the wall next the cell-door is an opening which, within the cell itself, commences with a square niche in the solid brick, the sides of which niche diminish till they form only a perpendicular slit which pierces the wall, so that a view of the cell can he gained from the outside, while the prisoner can see very little. Through this slit the thin wand of painted wood just mentioned, and which is red at one end and black at the other, is pushed by the prisoner, in order to call the attention of the warder when required. Each cell has two doors, the inner one of timber, the outer one composed of a stout and heavy iron grating. After two months' imprisonment, unless in the case of the prisoner's misconduct, the inner wooden door is left open from nine in the morning till five in the afternoon, so that the cells are moderately light and cheerful, and the visitors may, in passing, see their inmates at work. Some of them look up and shift uneasily as they notice a stranger with the warder; others go steadily on with their occupation, as though they had no regard for anything outside the grated door which divides them from the ward.
   Beside the separate cells there are "association wards," where, as their name implies, a number of prisoners work and live together. In each of these there is one or more masters of the trades carried on there; and, although the men work together, they are strictly prohibited from holding any communication with each other, and are under constant surveillance all day, while it is the duty of the warders to [-199-] make their rounds every twenty minutes during the night. One of these rooms contains sixteen inmates, who work together, and at night sleep in hammocks, which are then slung from wall to wall, but during the day occupy shelves opposite each man's seat, and being rolled up, look like small casks in a spirit store.
   The association-room devoted to tailoring contains the largest number of prisoners; that in which weaving is carried on of course requires more space for the erection of the looms.
   Although the "silent-system" is "strictly enforced," it is impossible to prevent communication between the prisoners. In the chapel, the school-room, the association-rooms, and even in the exercise-yards, there must be opportunities for both signalling and speaking to each other. All that can be said is that it is not allowed, and that when a prisoner is detected in a breach of this rule it leads to punishment; either to a renewal of separate confinement, or, if he be refractory, to the dark cell and bread and water diet. Of other punishments at Millbank, handcuffs, and even whipping, have not been entirely abolished; and it is not unwise to retain them, since they are both found useful in cases of exceptional violence and brutality.
   Some of the association-cells, I discover, are devoted to carpenters and coopers, who are employed in the workshops, and masons, or men who are employed in the outdoorwork of the prison. Many of those employed in this way wear a rough blue dress instead of the regulation colour, which is rusty brown barred with a violet stripe. The outdoor and association work is, of course, less monotonous than that of the separate cells, and is a reward for good conduct. Men who have conducted themselves well at Millbank also receive a badge which distinguishes them [-200-] for privileges during the remaining term of their sentences, unless they commit any act which causes their good-conduct mark to he taken away. I speak of these things as I find them during my visit; but I might almost allude to them only as a part of past discipline, for the association at Millbank Prison is about to be abolished, and even while these sheets are being written the Directors of Prisons have reported as follows:- 
   The associated cells formerly in use at Millbank prison have been abolished and converted into separate cells, and the discipline at that prison has been rendered still further deterrent by the adoption of a system of cellular instruction, instead of assembling the convicts in school classes, and by keeping the cell-doors bolted up during the whole period of the convict's separate confinement. The outer doors were formerly opened after two months, giving great facilities for communication among the prisoners, and tending to destroy the effect of separation.
   The assembling of the convicts in school while they were supposed to be undergoing separate confinement is, we think, objectionable, and if the plan adopted at Millbank continues to be successful, we propose to extend it to Pentonville.
   The chaplain at Millbank states in his report that these changes have been attended with a visible improvement in the bearing and demeanour of the prisoners.
   Our object is to render this, the separate stage of their punishment, as deterrent as possible to the convicts, to habituate them to habits of order and obedience preparatory to their going on the public works, and to avail ourselves of the opportunity afforded for conveying useful instruction.
   The day's work of the prisoners commences at six o'clock [-201-] in the morning by. sweeping and cleaning the cells and wards, and on certain days holystoning the corridors and sweeping the exercise-yards. This lasts till about half-past seven, or breakfast-time; after which the prisoners attend chapel for half an hour. Dinner is served at one o'clock and supper at about half-past five, each meal occupying half an hour; and during the day exercise and instruction are so arranged that each man obtains an hour's walking or pumping in the exercise-yard, and a sufficient time at school to represent one day a week. It may well be supposed that in an establishment containing such a large number of prisoners everything has to be conducted with military precision, and the services of the convicts themselves are, as far as possible, utilised in carrying out the general arrangements; in this way, when the men in separate confinement return from exercise, each one takes up his position at the door of his cell: at the word of command they all enter their cells, except one man who bolts the doors of the rest (and does it with an unnatural alacrity), himself retiring last, to be bolted in by the officer in charge.
   The kitchens, where the principal cooks are assisted by some of the prisoners (most frequently soldiers who are under sentence), are, like the rest of the building, deficient in light, and have, of course, a somewhat bare appearance, since very little apparatus is necessary for preparing the food, which, however, is well cooked and excellent in quality. A long room, obscured by the steam from the coppers and boilers, and smelling a little faintly with the odours of boiled fresh beef which the cook's assistants are now weighing at the long deal tables and depositing in covered tin cans, each of which is divided by a partition for separating the meat, soup, and vegetables; a number [-202-] of long wooden trays or troughs, with handles running along the tops (something like the trays in which pots of beer are carried from public-houses) and designed to hold the cans, form almost the entire furniture of the kitchens. The dinners are served with great rapidity, some of the prisoners being specially appointed to carry the rations to the various wards, where they are distributed by the officers.
   The dietary of the prison is-breakfast, of a pint of cocoa made from oz. of cocoa nibs, sweetened with   oz. of molasses, and containing 2 oz. of milk; 8 oz. of bread. Dinner, 5 oz. of beef without bone, and weighed after boiling; 1 lb. of potatoes (or occasionally lb. of potatoes and lb. of parsnips or other vegetables); pint of meat liquor; 6 oz. of bread. Supper, 1 pint of gruel made with 2 oz. of oatmeal or flour, sweetened with   oz. of molasses; 8 oz. of bread. By the new regulations of the commission, however, a slight reduction in the quantity of food is to be tried as an experiment.
   The large consumption of bread necessitates a number of bakers who are organized, in the same way as the cooks, under the superintendence of a master baker. This must certainly he one of the pleasantest of all the occupations at Millbank Prison, since the bakery is clean, light, and tolerably airy, and the work itself is far from disagreeable; although to judge from the batches of oblong loaves which are stacked in long regiments on the counters it can leave little opportunity for idling.
   The dietary for sick prisoners who have been removed to the infirmary depends altogether upon the directions of the attendant surgeon, and the infirmary itself is lighter and less depressing than the ordinary portions of the building. The iron bedsteads are in some instances furnished with check curtains, and a mat is placed beside [-203-] each bed for the patient to stand upon. The amount of sickness at Millbank is sometimes very considerable, owing to the fact of the place being a general depot at which prisoners are received soon after conviction.
   The rules for preserving cleanliness include the periodical hair cutting and shaving, and bathing once a week in the baths provided for the prisoners, which occupy a portion of the lower part of the pentagon, and are a series of partitioned boxes, with a bath sunk in each floor.
   The condition of our two prisoners in relation to the offence which they have committed, and the general system of punishment at Millbank, leads me to remark that the want of classification of prisoners, with regard not only to their age, but to the discipline and punishment with which their particular crime and its attendant circumstances might be associated, is worth serious consideration. It may be urged (and with some show of reason) that Millbank is only a depot; and, again, that the present punishment inflicted on criminals there, is light enough even for the lightest average offence for which the inmates are consigned to its cells. It may be replied to the first objection that many of the prisoners do in reality stay there for a considerable time- some of them for many months; and, to the second, that the hardened ruffian who can subdue his temper while he is an inmate of Millbank is nearly as well off as the youth who has yielded to a strong temptation, or the man who has committed some rash act in a fit of momentary passion.
   It may be thought that, in passing through the wards, with the opportunity of seeing so many of their inmates, a large number of brutal and forbidding countenances would shock the visitor. This is not the real impression which I receive, however, nor would it have been the [-204-] result of my own experience to have expected such an impression. It may have occurred to a good many people that, after all (and the truth of physiognomy notwithstanding), the majority of criminals must closely resemble a multitude of people who (in the eye of the law at least) are not criminals, and whom we meet every day. Has no intelligent observer, in looking into a window where phrenological casts have been displayed, ever imagined that there must have been, in one or two instances, some mistake by which the label of the criminal bust was accidentally transferred to the pedestal of the philanthropist, or vice versa? Even great crimes are sometimes the result of circumstances against which the evil-doer may have fought, but fought unequally and weakly, or may have been stimulated by some sudden impulse of evil too long left unchecked, and of which we may ourselves be conscious as we stand before the grated door of that prison cell. Again, the fact of the general nature of Millbank Prison explains the absence of this particular feature in prison life. The new regulations are not yet in force, and, singularly enough, it is in the school that the impression of a number of low and brutalised faces is most forcible. Here-gathered together in a long room furnished with forms, common desks, a few maps and diagrams, and a black board- the prisoners receive instruction divided into four classes, according to their previous attainments. There is a school-room to each two pentagons, and the scholars are strangely various. Somehow the stolid, indifferent, and evil faces seem to overshadow those which are more intelligent.
   It may be that the most ignorant and some of the oldest men frequently occupy the front forms nearest the desk of the master; but it would he difficult to conceive [-205-] anything more sullen, dogged, and sometimes hopeless, than the expression of many of them, who seem entirely indifferent even to the entrance of a stranger. The dull room and the coarse prison dress are but the setting to a picture which represents an awful reality to ruffianism of every age and degree.
   The chapel is a large and really handsome building, almost circular, occupying the centre of the gaol, and reached by three passages communicating with the different pentagons. It is, as indeed it should be, the lightest and best-fitted portion of the prison, and is surrounded with a fine gallery. This is the only prison chapel which is consecrated for the complete service; and there is a legend that a convict was once married there, just previous to his death under circumstances which involved the rightful disposition of considerable property.
   The Roman Catholic prisoners are distinguished by the letters R. C. over their cells above the ticket, which, fastened to every grating, states the name, number, and term of sentence. These receive instruction from the Roman Catholic priest attached to the establishment, read the books permitted by him, and go to confession. The Roman Catholic chapel has been adapted from a large ward which was once remarkable as the general ward-a spacious apartment built out in an open court of one of the pentagons. In this place some hundred and fifty prisoners once worked in association, mostly at tailoring and shoemaking. In appearance it is a singular combination of a small railway station and the refreshment portion of a public garden- an effect produced by the light roof of glass and iron, and the presence round two sides of it of a number of wooden inclosures almost exactly like the [-206-] "boxes" in a tea-garden. In these the men formerly worked by day and slept in their hammocks at night.
   The store-rooms for materials for the work of the prison, for manufactured articles, and for the necessarily large quantities of provisions, occupy a considerable space; but are scarcely so interesting as one cell which is called the "chain room," and in which a remarkable collection of chains, fetters, and handcuffs, in every variety, is arranged upon the walls in a sort of grim festooned pattern. The use of most of these is abolished, and the simple, light "cuff" and chain alone considered necessary; but the latter are frequently in requisition in the case of prisoners who attack the warders on every opportunity.
   There is little doubt that the condition of the criminals at Millbank is physically superior to that of a large number of the honest poor, and it is certain that throughout the prison arrangements the utmost care is taken to adopt only such a kind and degree of punishment as is necessarily implied in the very idea of convict labour; yet the visitor who spends some time in the building, or stands at the window of the governor's waiting-room, thoughtfully watching the work of the yard, will begin to feel that in this particular establishment the generally dreary aspect of all the accessories, and the monotonous daily routine of work, meals, exercise, must, in many cases, be a severe penalty. But against this, again, it will be remembered that the thoughtful visitor looks at the whole process from his own point of view, and can, perhaps, never succeed in realising the manner in which it is regarded by the majority of those who are brought under its influence.
   Of the ground surrounding the building there is little to be said. Airing yards, bleak and bare, intersected with narrow brick or stone paths, upon which the convicts walk  [-207-] at a regular pace in single file, and about six feet apart. A walled waste of garden ground, where the convalescents work with hoe, or spade, or roller. A blank and now unused burial yard, where the nameless graves of former prisoners who have died within the walls are varied in a few instances by the headstones which mark the burial-place of two or three prison officials or their relatives. The inner aspect of Millbank is close, dark, and sombre; its walled area suggestive only of the unwholesome neighbourhood of the low-lying river-shore, and of the purpose to which the building itself is devoted.
   The entrance yard, with its offices, is more lightsome; and here, as I return, the prison van has just deposited some new inmates, including my two ruffians. They are at this moment in the reception-ward, where beyond the row of cells there is a row of baths, to which they are at once conducted. After they have taken off the clothes in which they have been brought from Newgate, they will he examined by the surgeon in a cell at the end of the ward, and in the uniform of Millbank will he consigned to one or other of the pentagons.

 

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