FORTY SHILLINGS FOR THE FRANCHISE. By MARIE WINTON EVANS. VII. Long will the memory of that first long day of weariness remain with me. Too tired to read, unable to rest on the hard bench that was the only seating accommoda- tion, and denied the privilege of lying down, even on the bare plank, there was no pros- pect of relief until the lights were on, and the horrible espionage of the law withdrawn for the night. The third meal of the day called by courtesy "supper" was served at half-past four, and consisted of the same kind of food as breakfast-brown bread and cocoa. As I have already remarked, the cocoa served in prison is a beverage that stands unique in colour, flavour, and aroma. Fortunately for prisoners, a dietary card forms one of the fixtures of each cell, so that when in doubt as to the nature of the diet provided, a reference to that card supplied the required information. This card I found extremely useful during the first day, as it enabled me to identify the various articles of diet, meant for the ordinary kinds of food with which I was acquainted outside the domain of prison discipline. Although a request for a vegetarian diet was made before breakfast, and first division prisoners are entitled to consideration in that respect, the rigidity of official routine is such that, no change can be effected until the official mind is satisfied that the instruc- tions have gone through all the various complications of transmission, ere they reach that particular department responsible for making the change. So that we had to wait until the third day before our vege- terianism became officially recognised, not- withstanding the facts that the only differ- ence in food was, that instead of tea and cocoa, we were given hot milk, and in place of the meat or the substitute thereof, for dinner, we were supplied with one boiled egg. After supper we were left more or less undisturbed, the cell door occasion- ally tried, the click of the inspection-hole cover told of the untiring vigilance of a wardress, and the changing of keys out- side the door kept one's nerves in a state of constant tension, and the anticipation of intrusion; but, as a rule, I found that rarely was a visit made after supper, unless a prisoner rang the bell for the attention of the wardress. After the second day, how- ever, when the concession of butter was made, and we were given pieces of tin re- sembling in shape the blade of a pocket- knife, with which to spread the batter on the bread, these knives were collected every evening. So also were the scissors brought in by those prisoners who had brought sewing materials with them to while away the time of imprisonment. Lights were, I believe, turned on at six o'clock, and directly the signal was given that the end of the day had come, the sound of beds being hauled down, listlessly banged on the floor, above, below, and on either side, told of the relief with which everyone welcomed the prospect of a change of posi- tion, and of the rest such a change would afford to cramped bodies that had the first taste of a life of compulsory mortification of the flesh. At half-past eight, a wardress went her round, tapping at each door, for the signal of All right," and turned out the light. Each day was a monotonous repetition of its predecessor beginning with the entrance of a wardress with the "application" slate, and ending with the collection of the prison knives. Nothing ever varied-no rule was ever relaxed, no wardress made an attempt at being anything but a prison machine, no humanising influence of any kind ever entered into the discipline. Every prisoner was a number, represent- ing a punishable offence, having no right to consideration or respect. The atmosphere was vulgar and brutalising, and often in the silence and confinement of my cell, my spirits were sad and depressed at the thought of women lending themselves as instruments of a coarse system, to brutalize and degrade their fellow creatures, whose most heinous crime might often be traced to the lack of fair conditions of life. The chapel service was, to me, the saddest part of the whole routine, and each time, I came away with a feeling of oppression, to see the number of women who were present at each service. They filed in, seemingly, an endless pro- cession of mute, dejected humanity, all dressed alike, in the hideous ill-fitting prison garb, that denied them even the right of their individual form, or to vary from stock size." Every garment is made one size, so that tall women wore short skirts, that emphasised the ugliness of the clumsy prison boots, and short women wore inconveniently long skirts that gave them a degraded slovenly appear- ance. The faces of some of the women will always haunt me. Their features distorted by a heritage of crime, defiant in their help- lessness to reconcile varying conditions of life the hard, sullen look that was gathering on young faces, the sad appealing look of others, who seemed frightened at their sur- roundings the refined features of some, set in an attitude of silent rebellion all the varying shades of human nature were re- presented, and all alike were subjected to the hard overbearing manner of the officials, that insisted upon unquestioning submission to the brutalizing conditions of our prison system. This inelastic system, recognising no difference of temperament, making no allow- ance for extenuating circumstances allow- ing no consideration for lack of better opportunities, is a relic of barbarism that laughs to scorn our vaunted civilization. The lamentable waste of human life, of human possibilities, to say nothing of the disgraceful misuse of public resources shown in our method of dealing with crime, shows how very thin this veneer of so-called pro- gress really is and how thoroughly those to whom has been entrusted the welfare of the mass of the people, have again and again betrayed that trust, and have made, out of the misery of the ignorant and the oppressed, stepping stones to their own self advance- ment. Year by year we extend our system for dealing with the refuse of a vicious social system, for drying up the sores when they become too offensive, while the condi- tions that breed vice, animality and crime, are accepted with a degree of tolerance that is always shown in England, to the sins of the wealthy. Oppression and tyranny in the forms of Government, of housing, of econ- omic and industrial conditions is at the root of all the evils against which Society cries out to-day, and yet knowing that no attempt is made to remove the cause, because we have made a god of vested interest, and the welfare of the people must be sacrificed on its altar, our prisons, workhouses, and asylums are filled to overflowing." A steady procession of the throw-outs" of our social and industrial system files past on its way to these tombs of human possi- bilities but the warning is still unheeded, and the procession goes on, an endless stream of human misery, the result of a system under which a small section of the community draws the energy and the life blood of the nation by exploiting the necessities of the lives of the common people. When will it end ?
SOUTH WALES BUSINESS NOTES. AMONGST notable business improvements in Cardiff is the renovation of Mr. W. C. Baker's, City Toilet Saloon, 4, City Road. It is now the most up-to-date suburban saloon in Cardiff. The decorations are artistic, and the general equipment admir- able. In fact it is a first-class saloon where ordinary prices are charged. MR. FRED. BROCKINGTON, the well-known Tailor and Costumier, is holding a sale at his Frederick Street establishment, prior to removal to larger premises at 113, Queen Street, in order to cope with the require- ments of an increasing business. Mr. Brockington's 3t-guinea costume is a very 2 popular speciality. It is exceedingly smart. MR. J. GRIFFITH, proprietor of the Tem- perance Hotel, at 17, Caroline Street, Car- diff, is very enterprising, having lately renovated the premises most attractively. They are now amongst the best in Cardiff. The hotel is a boon to all requiring a com- fortable and homelike place to stay at, combined with moderate charges.
ST. MARY'S WELSH CHURCH, CAMBERWELL NEW ROAD. A TEA AND SALE OF WORK Will be held in the PARSONAGE GROUNDS On JUNE 20th, 1907. To be opened by MRS. J. FRANCIS (Wallog & Clapham Park), At 3.30 p.m. During the evening Glees will be given by the Mixed Choir, and Part Songs by the Male Voice Party. MISS JENNIE HUGHES (late of Daiys> and others will give Solos during intervals. J- 'f"r,r- o^sTX Refreshments in the Grounds. ADMISSION, INCLUDING TEA, 11- Proceeds towards altering the Church. WILLIAM DAVIES, Dairy & Life Insurance Agent, 160, HIGH HOLBORN. 180 gls. 4d.; shop 920; splendid business £ 2000 100 gls. 4d.; shop 210; cows, horses, plant £ 1400 65 gls. 4d.; shop 220; 15 cows instant sale £ 1000 46 gls. 4d.; shop marble fitted; Surrey 9454 38 gls. 4d.; shop £ 18 cart round good 2450 W.—29 gls. 4d.; shop £ 20; splendid business 2380 Chelsea—32 gls. 4d.; without shop 2240 W.—20 gls. 4d.; shop;CIO; prospective good 2220 30 gls. 4d.; shop 24; pram; cheap 2200 19 gls. 4d.; shop 917; excellent; Clapham Clga 47 gls. 4d. weekly shop JE9 Islington. 9150 11 gls. 4d.; shop £ 16 pram Hackney £,120 W.- 8 gls. 4d.; shop good illness instant sale £4,G Indoors-Takings £ 40 illness; instant sale £ 160 N.—Takings 930; good spot; cheap £ 150 N.—Takings E25; milk 40 gls. 4d. weekly good EllOr W.—Rent over let; takings 2 14 excellent £63 N.-Job sweets, minerals takings £10; all at £5(} Sellers please send in your businesses to DAVIES for QUICK S&LE.-Buyers come to DAVIES and be suited instantly. HfEliH PRINTING 211, GRRY'S INN ReaD, wee.