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alive to the laudable interest taken at the present time respecting the treatment of juveniles, as well as to the great efforts made by philanthropic individuals and societies both in England and on the Continent, to establish such a system of training as will conduce to the reformation of the criminal. We highly appreciate such efforts, which in so many instances have been productive of the most favourable results; we observe that the secret, if we may so term it, of these successes has been through individualizing cases, and by the employment of earnest, zealous persons, who will alone carry out the reformatory system in its integrity, of which we maintain the basis to be individualization. We feel no doubt whatever as to the favourable results of such treatment if pursued more in the Government Prisons than has ever yet been the case. When we consider
that we have several boys at the tender ages of twelve and thirteen years sentenced to four years penal servitude for stealing potatoes, &c., whose cases we have endeavoured to sift, the majority of whom have no parents, no home, excepting the low lodging houses, whose owners have sent these children forth to commit the crimes for which they are now suffering, we feel that this same reformatory treatment carried out as described with the best results by different institutions, must exercise a large and important influence on any system adopted in the new Penal Reformatory Prison for juvenile
To carry this out, however, will involve the procuring individuals with special qualifications for the office of superintending the young, and as far as possible to place them in the establishment. It is true that there will be a difficulty in obtaining such persons, but it is not an insuperable one; we shall be enabled to select some, and we have the means of training others whose characters and dispositions may induce us to consider such a course advisable. The schoolmasters recently appointed to Mountjoy and Philipstown will be of great assistance to us in promoting this. As, however, from the varieties of characters confined in a large convict depot, a more penal treatment may be necessary for many, the construction of the building will be of a nature to assist the objects we have in view. Employment on the land and at trades, on the prosecution of which we are inclined to place even a greater value in this country than in England, will afford constant occupation, and inculcate those habits of industry which will materially aid the cause of reformation."
This last extract is, in our mind, conclusive in support of our arguments in advocating a Reformatory School Bill for Ireland. If the Legislature erects a Reformatory for the reception of the young convict, because it is desirable that he should be subjected to peculiar training, apart from the adult convict, surely the same principle applies to the young offender who has not yet sunk so low in guilt as to require that a sentence of penal labor, or transportation, be recorded against him. If
See Ante, p. 431, for the account of the Hardwicke Farm School.
this inference be not supported by all the authorities on the question, then the whole philosophy of the subject resolves itself into this absurdity-Reformatory training is necessary for every criminal, but it shall only be extended to him when he shall have been, at the cost of the community, committed and recommitted so often to the common gaol, that he shall be, by wearied Justice, at length degraded to the convict gang.
We regret that, owing to the lateness of the period in the quarter at which we received this excellent Report, we have been unable to write of many important matters contained in it. However, its chief topics are now before the reader, but if the question of prison discipline, in all its various phases, interest him, he will read the Report itself with instruction and advantage.
IRISH QUARTERLY REVIEW.
No. XIX.-SEPTEMBER, 1855.
ART. I.-TENNYSON AND HIS "MAUD." Maud, and Other Poems. By Alfred Tennyson, D.C.L., Poet Laureate. London: Moxon. 1855.
Five-and-twenty years ago Effingham Wilson published a volume of poems for a young man then in College: he was only known as the son of a clergyman down in the country; and he bore the name of Alfred Tennyson. It was an odd book, full of genius, thought, new coined words, and those mental gymnastics known as esthetic ideas. With great, and grave follies it combined the deepest and truest spirit of Poetry. Critics praised and abused; lectured and suggested; in one page "flooring" the poet, in the next "backing him up" well to the public; but in all phases of criticism admitting his genius, even whilst regretting his wayward fancies.
A second volume appeared in the year 1832, and this was marked by many of the characteristics of the earlier publication; but the working of a mind, striving to achieve a perfect poem was evident; and again the critics blamed, and praised, and petted, and all but spoiled the poet.
Ten years passed on, and the mind of the young student grew with these years, in force and strength. All these years he lived for poesy, and in studying the fair proportions of his idol he learned to know how stilted, how cold, how artificial were the offerings with which, in his early days of poetic adoration, he had decked her shrine.
Ten years of thought; of study; of whole-heart devotion to any pursuit must produce results marked and patent, even where men are less gifted than Alfred Tennyson; and when,
VOL. V. NO. XIX.
in 1842, Moxon, that poet-publisher for poets, issued the two volumes of Poems, now in the hands of all; the author's mind seemed to have acquired the strength and sustaining power which make the poem immortal, and the poet a demi-god. The books showed that the poetic wild-oats of youthful fancy were sown; The Lady of Shalott was gravely dressed; The Lotus-Eaters was touched and re-touched, and was all the more rich in its dreamy loveliness for the changes; in The Miller's Daughter, the charming Miller's Daughter, the lover's mother was introduced, but these following verses were omitted, and we think not justly:
"Remember you the clear moonlight
I heard, as I have seem'd to hear
But though the poet's mind was there in all the glory of its power and magic charms, yet still the besetting fault, dreaming oddity of fancy was present, and none could say, "Tennyson is a great poet" it was not that he "nodded," he slept, he snored, and in his slumbers strange contortions and twinings half amused, half disgusted, the astonished, wondering, admiring reader.
The Princess came next; then, In Memoriam, and now we have Maud, and other Poems,-would we had never seen this latter.
What is the true characteristic of genuine poetry? Its power of reaching, exciting, and enthralling every heart. What is the characteristic of Maud? Maudlin semi-insanity; words meaning nothing worth remembering; and a disjointed tale of love and blood, to be discovered after close and laborious application to the text, omitting the various gasps and gaps of passionate prose run mad which intervene.
But what is Maud? Is it a medley? a dramatic poem? We confess we do not know what to call it ; and as to its outbursts of passion, they are precisely such as Sim Tappertit might, in his bloody-minded moments, have addressed to Miss Miggs. It is not a poem worthy the author of the Miller's Daughter, of Locksley Hall, of Oriana, or of the other exquisite pieces that have rendered Tennyson the poet of the time. Readers have paused in wonder at many a weak and unworthy
passage in The Princess and in In Memoriam, but if this Maud, or any other poem contained in this volume, is to be considered as the latest specimen of the Laureate's best style, readers will quickly discover that the fancy and imagery of Alexander Smith, and the wild pathos, the deep-hearted poetry of Gerald Massey, are truer, and nobler, and worthier sources of pride to the Nation, than the weak affectations which disfigure the poem now before us.
If poetry consisted in exciting horror; if it were allowable to astonish the reader by a series of disjointed episodes; if a poet could support his reputation by the occasional introduction of a few lines reminding one of his higher productions in earlier and more ambitious days, one might consider Maud a thirdrate composition; but, as these things are not allowable, Maud must be looked upon gently, for the sake of the pleasant hours its author has given us in times of truer inspiration.
Well, asks the reader, what is Maud, and what is the story? Reader, Maud opens with blood, thus :
I hate the dreadful hollow behind the little wood,
Its lips in the field above are dabbled with blood-red heath,
For there in the ghastly pit long since a body was found,
His who had given me life-O father! O God! was it well?-
After this introduction we have some lines in the true. Tennysonian style, abusing this our age: then, with a recollection of Doctor Hassell, and the Adulteration of Food Committee, the author thus writes, and one can fancy that he is versifying the police reports of the cheap Sunday papers:
Peace sitting under her olive, and slurring the days gone by,
When the poor are hovell'd and hustled together, each sex, like swine,
And the vitriol madness flushes up in the ruffian's head,
And Sleep must lie down arm'd, for the villainous centre-bits
When a Mammonite mother kills her babe for a burial fee,